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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

All reports of volcanic activity published by the Smithsonian since 1968 are available through a monthly table of contents or by searching for a specific volcano. Until 1975, reports were issued for individual volcanoes as information became available; these have been organized by month for convenience. Later publications were done in a monthly newsletter format. Links go to the profile page for each volcano with the Bulletin tab open.

Information is preliminary at time of publication and subject to change.

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

Sabancaya (Peru) Daily explosions with ash emissions, large SO2 flux, ongoing thermal anomalies, December 2019-May 2020

Sheveluch (Russia) Lava dome growth and thermal anomalies continue through April 2020, but few ash explosions

Dukono (Indonesia) Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

Etna (Italy) Strombolian explosions and ash emissions continue, October 2019-March 2020

Merapi (Indonesia) Explosions produced ash plumes, ashfall, and pyroclastic flows during October 2019-March 2020

Erta Ale (Ethiopia) Continued lava flow outbreaks and thermal anomalies during November 2019 to early April 2020

Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) Weak phreatic explosions during August 2019-March 2020; ash and lahars reported in late January

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Minor explosive activity, continued thermal activity, and SO2 emissions, October 2019-March 2020.

Stromboli (Italy) Strombolian activity continues at both summit crater areas, September-December 2019

Semeru (Indonesia) Ash plumes and thermal anomalies continue during September 2019-February 2020

Popocatepetl (Mexico) Dome growth and destruction continues along with ash emissions and ejecta, September 2019-February 2020

Santa Maria (Guatemala) Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continue, September 2019-February 2020



Sabancaya (Peru) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sabancaya

Peru

15.787°S, 71.857°W; summit elev. 5960 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily explosions with ash emissions, large SO2 flux, ongoing thermal anomalies, December 2019-May 2020

Although tephrochronology has dated activity at Sabancaya back several thousand years, renewed activity that began in 1986 was the first recorded in over 200 years. Intermittent activity since then has produced significant ashfall deposits, seismic unrest, and fumarolic emissions. A new period of explosive activity that began in November 2016 has been characterized by pulses of ash emissions with some plumes exceeding 10 km altitude, thermal anomalies, and significant SO2 plumes. Ash emissions and high levels of SO2 continued each week during December 2019-May 2020. The Observatorio Vulcanologico INGEMMET (OVI) reports weekly on numbers of daily explosions, ash plume heights and directions of drift, seismicity, and other activity. The Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) issued three or four daily reports of ongoing ash emissions at Sabancaya throughout the period.

The dome inside the summit crater continued to grow throughout this period, along with nearly constant ash, gas, and steam emissions; the average number of daily explosions ranged from 4 to 29. Ash and gas plume heights rose 1,800-3,800 m above the summit crater, and multiple communities around the volcano reported ashfall every month (table 6). Sulfur dioxide emissions were notably high and recorded daily with the TROPOMI satellite instrument (figure 75). Thermal activity declined during December 2019 from levels earlier in the year but remained steady and increased in both frequency and intensity during April and May 2020 (figure 76). Infrared satellite images indicated that the primary heat source throughout the period was from the dome inside the summit crater (figure 77).

Table 6. Persistent activity at Sabancaya during December 2019-May 2020 included multiple daily explosions with ash plumes that rose several kilometers above the summit and drifted in many directions; this resulted in ashfall in communities within 30 km of the volcano. Satellite instruments recorded SO2 emissions daily. Data courtesy of OVI-INGEMMET.

Month Avg. Daily Explosions by week Max plume Heights (m above crater) Plume drift (km) and direction Communities reporting ashfall Min Days with SO2 over 2 DU
Dec 2019 16, 13, 5, 5 2,600-3,800 20-30 NW Pinchollo, Madrigal, Lari, Maca, Achoma, Coporaque, Yanque, Chivay, Huambo, Cabanaconde 27
Jan 2020 10, 8, 11, 14, 4 1,800-3,400 30 km W, NW, SE, S Chivay, Yanque, Achoma 29
Feb 2020 8, 11, 20, 19 2,000-2,200 30 km SE, E, NE, W Huambo 29
Mar 2020 14, 22, 29, 18 2,000-3,000 30 km NE, W, NW, SW Madrigal, Lari, Pinchollo 30
Apr 2020 12, 12, 16, 13, 8 2,000-3,000 30 km SE, NW, E, S Pinchollo, Madrigal, Lari, Maca, Ichupampa, Yanque, Chivay, Coporaque, Achoma 27
May 2020 15, 14, 6, 16 1,800-2,400 30 km SW, SE, E, NE, W Chivay, Achoma, Maca, Lari, Madrigal, Pinchollo 27
Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. Sulfur dioxide anomalies were captured daily from Sabancaya during December 2019-May 2020 by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Some of the largest SO2 plumes are shown here with dates listed in the information at the top of each image. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 76. Thermal activity at Sabancaya declined during December 2019 from levels earlier in the year but remained steady and increased slightly in frequency and intensity during April and May 2020, according to the MIROVA graph of Log Radiative Power from 23 June 2019 through May 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Sabancaya confirmed the frequent ash emissions and ongoing thermal activity from the dome inside the summit crater during December 2019-May 2020. Top row (left to right): On 6 December 2019 a large plume of steam and ash drifted N from the summit. On 16 December 2019 a thermal anomaly encircled the dome inside the summit caldera while gas and possible ash drifted NW. On 14 April 2020 a very similar pattern persisted inside the crater. Bottom row (left to right): On 19 April an ash plume was clearly visible above dense cloud cover. On 24 May the infrared glow around the dome remained strong; a diffuse plume drifted W. A large plume of ash and steam drifted SE from the summit on 29 May. Infrared images use Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a), other images use Natural Color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The average number of daily explosions during December 2019 decreased from a high of 16 the first week of the month to a low of five during the last week. Six pyroclastic flows occurred on 10 December (figure 78). Tremors were associated with gas-and-ash emissions for most of the month. Ashfall was reported in Pinchollo, Madrigal, Lari, Maca, Achoma, Coporaque, Yanque, and Chivay during the first week of the month, and in Huambo and Cabanaconde during the second week (figure 79). Inflation of the volcano was measured throughout the month. SO2 flux was measured by OVI as ranging from 2,500 to 4,300 tons per day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose several kilometers above the summit. Left image is from 5 December and right image is from 11 December 2019. Note pyroclastic flows to the right of the crater on 11 December. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-49-2019/INGEMMET Semana del 2 al 8 de diciembre de 2019 and RSSAB-50-2019/INGEMMET Semana del 9 al 15 de diciembre de 2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. Communities to the N and W of Sabancaya recorded ashfall from the volcano the first week of December and also every month during December 2019-May 2020. The red zone is the area where access is prohibited (about a 12-km radius from the crater). Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-22-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 25 al 31 de mayo del 2020).

During January and February 2020 the number of daily explosions averaged 4-20. Ash plumes rose as high as 3.4 km above the summit (figure 80) and drifted up to 30 km in multiple directions. Ashfall was reported in Chivay, Yanque, and Achoma on 8 January, and in Huambo on 25 February. Sulfur dioxide flux ranged from a low of 1,200 t/d on 29 February to a high of 8,200 t/d on 28 January. Inflation of the edifice was measured during January; deformation changed to deflation in early February but then returned to inflation by the end of the month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. Ash plumes rose from Sabancaya every day during January and February 2020. Left: 11 January. Right: 28 February. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-02-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 06 al 12 de enero del 2020 and RSSAB-09-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 24 de febrero al 01 de marzo del 2020).

Explosions continued during March and April 2020, averaging 8-29 per day. Explosions appeared to come from multiple vents on 11 March (figure 81). Ash plumes rose 3 km above the summit during the first week of March and again the first week of April; they were lower during the other weeks. Ashfall was reported in Madrigal, Lari, and Pinchollo on 27 March and 5 April. On 17 April ashfall was reported in Maca, Ichupampa, Yanque, Chivay, Coporaque, and Achoma. Sulfur dioxide flux ranged from 1,900 t/d on 5 March to 10,700 t/d on 30 March. Inflation at depth continued throughout March and April with 10 +/- 4 mm recorded between 21 and 26 April. Similar activity continued during May 2020; explosions averaged 6-16 per day (figure 82). Ashfall was reported on 6 May in Chivay, Achoma, Maca, Lari, Madrigal, and Pinchollo; heavy ashfall was reported in Achoma on 12 May. Additional ashfall was reported in Achoma, Maca, Madrigal, and Lari on 23 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. Explosions at Sabancaya on 11 March 2020 appeared to originate simultaneously from two different vents (left). The plume on 12 April was measured at about 2,500 m above the summit. Courtesy of OVI-INGEMMET (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-11-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 9 al 15 de marzo del 2020 and RSSAB-15-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 6 al 12 de abril del 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. Explosions dense with ash continued during May 2020 at Sabancaya. On 11 and 29 May 2020 ash plumes rose from the summit and drifted as far as 30 km before dissipating. Courtesy of OVI-INGEMMET (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya , RSSAB-20-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 11 al 17 de mayo del 2020 and RSSAB-22-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 25 al 31 de mayo del 2020).

Geologic Background. Sabancaya, located in the saddle NE of Ampato and SE of Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. The name Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of Plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of historical eruptions date back to 1750.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Volcanologico del INGEMMET (Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico), Barrio Magisterial Nro. 2 B-16 Umacollo - Yanahuara Arequipa, Peru (URL: http://ovi.ingemmet.gob.pe); Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Meteorológico Nacional-Fuerza Aérea Argentina, 25 de mayo 658, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/inicio.php); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Sheveluch (Russia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

56.653°N, 161.36°E; summit elev. 3283 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava dome growth and thermal anomalies continue through April 2020, but few ash explosions

The eruption at Sheveluch has continued for more than 20 years, with strong explosions that have produced ash plumes, lava dome growth, hot avalanches, numerous thermal anomalies, and strong fumarolic activity (BGVN 44:05). During this time, there have been periods of greater or lesser activity. The most recent period of increased activity began in December 2018 and continued through October 2019 (BGVN 44:11). This report covers activity between November 2019 to April 2020, a period during which activity waned. The volcano is monitored by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) and Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

During the reporting period, KVERT noted that lava dome growth continued, accompanied by incandescence of the dome blocks and hot avalanches. Strong fumarolic activity was also present (figure 53). However, the overall eruption intensity waned. Ash plumes sometimes rose to 10 km altitude and drifted downwind over 600 km (table 14). The Aviation Color Code (ACC) remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale), except for 3 November when it was raised briefly to Red (the highest level).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. Fumarolic activity of Sheveluch’s lava dome on 24 January 2020. Photo by Y. Demyanchuk; courtesy of KVERT.

Table 14. Explosions and ash plumes at Sheveluch during November 2019-April 2020. Dates and times are UTC, not local. Data courtesy of KVERT and the Tokyo VAAC.

Dates Plume Altitude (km) Drift Distance and Direction Remarks
01-08 Nov 2019 -- 640 km NW 3 November: ACC raised to Red from 0546-0718 UTC before returning to Orange.
08-15 Nov 2019 9-10 1,300 km ESE
17-27 Dec 2019 6.0-6.5 25 km E Explosions at about 23:50 UTC on 21 Dec.
20-27 Mar 2020 -- 45 km N 25 March: Gas-and-steam plume containing some ash.
03-10 Apr 2020 10 km 526 km SE 8 April: Strong explosion at 1910 UTC.
17-24 Apr 2020 -- 140 km NE Re-suspended ash plume.

KVERT reported thermal anomalies over the volcano every day, except for 25-26 January, when clouds obscured observations. During the reporting period, thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm recorded hotspots on 10 days in November, 13 days in December, nine days in January, eight days in both February and March, and five days in April. The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system, also based on analysis of MODIS data, detected numerous hotspots every month, almost all of which were of moderate radiative power (figure 54).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. Thermal anomalies at Sheveluch continued at elevated levels during November 2019-April 2020, as seen on this MIROVA Log Radiative Power graph for July 2019-April 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

High sulfur dioxide levels were occasionally recorded just above or in the close vicinity of Sheveluch by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite, but very little drift was observed.

Geologic Background. The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. The summit of roughly 65,000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes dot its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/).


Dukono (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Dukono

Indonesia

1.693°N, 127.894°E; summit elev. 1229 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

The ongoing eruption at Dukono is characterized by frequent explosions that send ash plumes to about 1.5-3 km altitude (0.3-1.8 km above the summit), although a few have risen higher. This type of typical activity (figure 13) continued through at least March 2020. The ash plume data below (table 21) were primarily provided by the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC). During the reporting period of October 2019-March 2020, the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Table 21. Monthly summary of reported ash plumes from Dukono for October 2019-March 2020. The direction of drift for the ash plume through each month was highly variable; notable plume drift each month was only indicated in the table if at least two weekly reports were consistent. Data courtesy of the Darwin VAAC and PVMBG.

Month Plume Altitude (km) Notable Plume Drift
Oct 2019 1.8-3 Multiple
Nov 2019 1.8-2.3 E, SE, NE
Dec 2019 1.8-2.1 E, SE
Jan 2020 1.8-2.1 E, SE, SW, S
Feb 2020 2.1-2.4 S, SW
Mar 2020 1.5-2.3 Multiple
Figure (see Caption) Figure 13.Satellite image of Dukono from Sentinel-2 on 12 November 2019, showing an ash plume drifting E. Image uses natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

During the reporting period, high levels of sulfur dioxide were only recorded above or near the volcano during 30-31 October and 4 November 2019. High levels were recorded by the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite on 30 October 2019, in a plume drifting E. The next day high levels were also recorded by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite on 31 October (figure 14) and 4 November 2019, in plumes drifting SE and NE, respectively.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Sulfur dioxide emission on 31 October 2019 drifting E, probably from Dukono, as recorded by the TROPOMI instrument aboard the Sentinel-5P satellite. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Geologic Background. Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the north-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. This complex volcano presents a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of the summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Etna (Italy) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3320 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian explosions and ash emissions continue, October 2019-March 2020

Mount Etna is a stratovolcano located on the island of Sicily, Italy, with historical eruptions that date back 3,500 years. The most recent eruptive period began in September 2013 and has continued through March 2020. Activity is characterized by Strombolian explosions, lava flows, and ash plumes that commonly occur from the summit area, including the Northeast Crater (NEC), the Voragine-Bocca Nuova (or Central) complex (VOR-BN), the Southeast Crater (SEC, formed in 1978), and the New Southeast Crater (NSEC, formed in 2011). The newest crater, referred to as the "cono della sella" (saddle cone), emerged during early 2017 in the area between SEC and NSEC. This reporting period covers information from October 2019 through March 2020 and includes frequent explosions and ash plumes. The primary source of information comes from the Osservatorio Etneo (OE), part of the Catania Branch of Italy's Istituo Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologica (INGV).

Summary of activity during October 2019-March 2020. Strombolian activity and gas-and-steam and ash emissions were frequently observed at Etna throughout the entire reporting period, according to INGV and Toulouse VAAC notices. Activity was largely located within the main cone (Voragine-Bocca Nuova complex), the Northeast Crater (NEC), and the New Southeast Crater (NSEC). On 1, 17, and 19 October, ash plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 5 km. Due to constant Strombolian explosions, ground observations showed that a scoria cone located on the floor of the VOR Crater had begun to grow in late November and again in late January 2020. A lava flow was first detected on 6 December at the base of the scoria cone in the VOR Crater, which traveled toward the adjacent BN Crater. Additional lava flows were observed intermittently throughout the reporting period in the same crater. On 13 March, another small scoria cone had formed in the main VOR-BN complex due to Strombolian explosions.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows multiple episodes of thermal activity varying in power from 22 June 2019 to March 2020 (figure 286). The power and frequency of these thermal anomalies significantly decreased between August to mid-September. The pulse of activity in mid-September reflected a lava flow from the VOR Crater (BGVN 44:10). By late October through November, thermal anomalies were relatively weaker and less frequent. The next pulse in thermal activity reflected in the MIROVA graph occurred in early December, followed by another shortly after in early January, both of which were due to new lava flows from the VOR Crater. After 9 January the thermal anomalies remained frequent and strong; active lava flows continued through March accompanied by Strombolian explosions, gas-and-steam, SO2, and ash emissions. The most recent distinct pulse in thermal activity was seen in mid-March; on 13 March, another lava flow formed, accompanied by an increase in seismicity. This lava flow, like the previous ones, also originated in the VOR Crater and traveled W toward the BN Crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 286. Multiple episodes of varying activity at Etna from 22 June 2019 through March 2020 were reflected in the MIROVA thermal energy data (Log Radiative Power). Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity during October-December 2019. During October 2019, VONA (Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation) notices issued by INGV reported ash plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 5 km on 1, 17, and 19 October. Strombolian explosions occurred frequently. Explosions were detected primarily in the VOR-BN Craters, ejecting coarse pyroclastic material that fell back into the crater area and occasionally rising above the crater rim. Ash emissions rose from the VOR-BN and NEC while intense gas-and-steam emissions were observed in the NSEC (figure 287). Between 10-12 and 14-20 October fine ashfall was observed in Pedara, Mascalucia, Nicolosi, San Giovanni La Punta, and Catania. In addition to these ash emissions, the explosive Strombolian activity contributed to significant SO2 plumes that drifted in different directions (figure 288).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 287. Webcam images of ash emissions from the NE Crater at Etna from the a) CUAD (Catania) webcam on 10 October 2019; b) Milo webcam on 11 October 2019; c) Milo webcam on 12 October 2019; d) M.te Cagliato webcam on 13 October 2019. Courtesy of INGV (Report 42/2019, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 07/10/2019 - 13/10/2019, data emissione 15/10/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 288. Strombolian activity at Etna contributed to significant SO2 plumes that drifted in multiple directions during the intermittent explosions in October 2019. Top left: 1 October 2019. Top right: 2 October 2019. Middle left: 15 October 2019. Middle right: 18 October 2019. Bottom left: 13 November 2019. Bottom right: 1 December 2019. Captured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel 5P satellite, courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

The INGV weekly bulletin covering activity between 25 October and 1 November 2019 reported that Strombolian explosions occurred at intervals of 5-10 minutes from within the VOR-BN and NEC, ejecting incandescent material above the crater rim, accompanied by modest ash emissions. In addition, gas-and-steam emissions were observed from all the summit craters. Field observations showed the cone in the crater floor of VOR that began to grow in mid-September 2019 had continued to grow throughout the month. During the week of 4-10 November, Strombolian activity within the Bocca Nuova Crater was accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. The explosions in the VOR Crater occasionally ejected incandescent ejecta above the crater rim (figures 289 and 290). For the remainder of the month Strombolian explosions continued in the VOR-BN and NEC, producing sporadic ash emissions. Isolated and discontinuous explosions in the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) also produced fine ash, though gas-and-steam emissions still dominated the activity at this crater. Additionally, the explosions from these summit craters were frequently accompanied by strong SO2 emissions that drifted in different directions as discrete plumes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 289. Photo of Strombolian activity and crater incandescence in the Voragine Crater at Etna on 15 November 2019. Photo by B. Behncke, taken by Tremestieri Etneo. Courtesy of INGV (Report 47/2019, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 11/11/2019 - 17/11/2019, data emissione 19/11/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 290. Webcam images of summit crater activity during 26-29 November and 1 December 2019 at Etna. a) image recorded by the high-resolution camera on Montagnola (EMOV); b) and c) webcam images taken from Tremestieri Etneo on the southern slope of Etna showing summit incandescence; d) image recorded by the thermal camera on Montagnola (EMOT) showing summit incandescence at the NSEC. Courtesy of INGV (Report 49/2019, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 25/11/2019 - 01/12/2019, data emissione 03/12/2019).

Frequent Strombolian explosions continued through December 2019 within the VOR-BN, NEC, and NSEC Craters with sporadic ash emissions observed in the VOR-BN and NEC. On 6 December, Strombolian explosions increased in the NSEC; webcam images showed incandescent pyroclastic material ejected above the crater rim. On the morning of 6 December a lava flow was observed from the base of the scoria cone in the VOR Crater that traveled toward the adjacent Bocca Nuova Crater. INGV reported that a new vent opened on the side of the saddle cone (NSEC) on 11 December and produced explosions until 14 December.

Activity during January-March 2020. On 9 January 2020 an aerial flight organized by RAI Linea Bianca and the state police showed the VOR Crater continuing to produce lava that was flowing over the crater rim into the BN Crater with some explosive activity in the scoria cone. Explosive Strombolian activity produced strong and distinct SO2 plumes (figure 291) and ash emissions through March, according to the weekly INGV reports, VONA notices, and satellite imagery. Several ash emissions during 21-22 January rose from the vent that opened on 11 December. According to INGV’s weekly bulletin for 21-26 January, the scoria cone in the VOR crater produced Strombolian explosions that increased in frequency and contributed to rapid cone growth, particularly the N part of the cone. Lava traveled down the S flank of the cone and into the adjacent Bocca Nuova Crater, filling the E crater (BN-2) (figure 292). The NEC had discontinuous Strombolian activity and periodic, diffuse ash emissions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 291. Distinct SO2 plumes drifting in multiple directions from Etna were visible in satellite imagery as Strombolian activity continued through March 2020. Top left: 21 January 2020. Top right: 2 February 2020. Bottom left: 10 March 2020. Bottom right: 19 March 2020. Captured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel 5P satellite, courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 292. a) A map of the lava field at Etna showing cooled flows (yellow) and active flows (red). The base of the scoria cone is outlined in black while the crater rim is outlined in red. b) Thermal image of the Bocca Nuova and Voragine Craters. The bright orange is the warmest temperature measure in the flow. Courtesy of INGV, photos by Laboratorio di Cartografia FlyeEye Team (Report 10/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 24/02/2020 - 01/03/2020, data emissione 03/03/2020).

Strombolian explosions continued into February 2020, accompanied by ash emissions and lava flows from the previous months (figure 293). During 17-23 February, INGV reported that some subsidence was observed in the central portion of the Bocca Nuova Crater. During 24 February to 1 March, the Strombolian explosions ejected lava from the VOR Crater up to 150-200 m above the vent as bombs fell on the W edge of the VOR crater rim (figure 294). Lava flows continued to move into the W part of the Bocca Nuova Crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 293. Webcam images of A) Strombolian activity and B) effusive activity fed by the scoria cone grown inside the VOR Crater at Etna taken on 1 February 2020. C) Thermal image of the lava field produced by the VOR Crater taken by L. Lodato on 3 February (bottom left). Image of BN-1 taken by F. Ciancitto on 3 February in the summit area (bottom right). Courtesy of INGV; Report 06/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 27/01/2020 - 02/02/2020, data emissione 04/02/2020 (top) and Report 07/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 03/02/2020 - 09/02/2020, data emissione 11/02/2020 (bottom).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 294. Photos of the VOR intra-crater scoria cone at Etna: a) Strombolian activity resumed on 25 February 2020 from the SW edge of BN taken by B. Behncke; b) weak Strombolian activity from the vent at the base N of the cone on 29 February 2020 from the W edge of VOR taken by V. Greco; c) old vent present at the base N of the cone, taken on 17 February 2020 from the E edge of VOR taken by B. Behncke; d) view of the flank of the cone, taken on 24 February 2020 from the W edge of VOR taken by F. Ciancitto. Courtesy of INGV (Report 10/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 24/02/2020 - 01/03/2020, data emissione 03/03/2020).

During 9-15 March 2020 Strombolian activity was detected in the VOR Crater while discontinuous ash emissions rose from the NEC and NSEC. Bombs were found in the N saddle between the VOR and NSEC craters. On 9 March, a small scoria cone that had formed in the Bocca Nuova Crater and was ejecting bombs and lava tens of meters above the S crater rim. The lava flow from the VOR Crater was no longer advancing. A third scoria cone had formed on 13 March NE in the main VOR-BN complex due to the Strombolian explosions on 29 February. Another lava flow formed on 13 March, accompanied by an increase in seismicity. The weekly report for 16-22 March reported Strombolian activity detected in the VOR Crater and gas-and-steam and rare ash emissions observed in the NEC and NSEC (figure 295). Explosions in the Bocca Nuova Crater ejected spatter and bombs 100 m high.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 295. Map of the summit crater area of Etna showing the active vents and lava flows during 16-22 March 2020. Black hatch marks indicate the crater rims: BN = Bocca Nuova, with NW BN-1 and SE BN-2; VOR = Voragine; NEC = North East Crater; SEC = South East Crater; NSEC = New South East Crater. Red circles indicate areas with ash emissions and/or Strombolian activity, yellow circles indicate steam and/or gas emissions only. The base is modified from a 2014 DEM created by Laboratorio di Aerogeofisica-Sezione Roma 2. Courtesy of INGV (Report 13/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 16/03/2020 - 22/03/2020, data emissione 24/03/2020).

Geologic Background. Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.

Information Contacts: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/it/); Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Météo-France, 42 Avenue Gaspard Coriolis, F-31057 Toulouse cedex, France (URL: http://www.meteo.fr/aeroweb/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Boris Behncke, Sonia Calvari, and Marco Neri, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: https://twitter.com/etnaboris, Image at https://twitter.com/etnaboris/status/1183640328760414209/photo/1).


Merapi (Indonesia) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions produced ash plumes, ashfall, and pyroclastic flows during October 2019-March 2020

Merapi is a highly active stratovolcano located in Indonesia, just north of the city of Yogyakarta. The current eruption episode began in May 2018 and was characterized by phreatic explosions, ash plumes, block avalanches, and a newly active lava dome at the summit. This reporting period updates information from October 2019-March 2020 that includes explosions, pyroclastic flows, ash plumes, and ashfall. The primary reporting source of activity comes from Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG, the Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology, a branch of PVMBG) and Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM).

Some ongoing lava dome growth continued in October 2019 in the NE-SW direction measuring 100 m in length, 30 m in width, and 20 m in depth. Gas-and-steam emissions were frequent, reaching a maximum height of 700 m above the crater on 31 October. An explosion at 1631 on 14 October removed the NE-SW trending section of the lava dome and produced an ash plume that rose 3 km above the crater and extended SW for about 2 km (figures 90 and 91). The plume resulted in ashfall as far as 25 km to the SW. According to a Darwin VAAC notice, a thermal hotspot was detected in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery. A pyroclastic flow associated with the eruption traveled down the SW flank in the Gendol drainage. During 14-20 October lava flows from the crater generated block-and-ash flows that traveled 1 km SW, according to BPPTKG.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. An ash plume rising 3 km above Merapi on 14 October 2019.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. Webcam image of an ash plume rising above Merapi at 1733 on 14 October 2019. Courtesy of BPPTKG via Jaime S. Sincioco.

At 0621 on 9 November 2019, an eruption produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater and drifted W. Ashfall was observed in the W region as far as 15 km from the summit in Wonolelo and Sawangan in Magelang Regency, as well as Tlogolele and Selo in Boyolali Regency. An associated pyroclastic flow traveled 2 km down the Gendol drainage on the SE flank. On 12 November aerial drone photographs were used to measure the volume of the lava dome, which was 407,000 m3. On 17 November, an eruption produced an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater, resulting in ashfall as far as 15 km W from the summit in the Dukun District, Magelang Regency (figure 92). A pyroclastic flow accompanying the eruption traveled 1 km down the SE flank in the Gendol drainage. By 30 November low-frequency earthquakes and CO2 gas emissions had increased.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. An ash plume rising 1 km above Merapi on 17 November 2019. Courtesy of BPPTKG.

Volcanism was relatively low from 18 November 2019 through 12 February 2020, characterized primarily by gas-and-steam emissions and intermittent volcanic earthquakes. On 4 January a pyroclastic flow was recorded by the seismic network at 2036, but it wasn’t observed due to weather conditions. On 13 February an explosion was detected at 0516, which ejected incandescent material within a 1-km radius from the summit (figure 93). Ash plumes rose 2 km above the crater and drifted NW, resulting in ashfall within 10 km, primarily S of the summit; lightning was also seen in the plume. Ash was observed in Hargobinangun, Glagaharjo, and Kepuharjo. On 19 February aerial drone photographs were used to measure the change in the lava dome after the eruption; the volume of the lava had decreased, measuring 291,000 m3.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 93. Webcam image of an ash plume rising from Merapi at 0516 on 13 February 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia and PVMBG.

An explosion on 3 March at 0522 produced an ash plume that rose 6 km above the crater (figure 94), resulting in ashfall within 10 km of the summit, primarily to the NE in the Musuk and Cepogo Boyolali sub-districts and Mriyan Village, Boyolali (3 km from the summit). A pyroclastic flow accompanied this eruption, traveling down the SSE flank less than 2 km. Explosions continued to be detected on 25 and 27-28 March, resulting in ash plumes. The eruption on 27 March at 0530 produced an ash plume that rose 5 km above the crater, causing ashfall as far as 20 km to the W in the Mungkid subdistrict, Magelang Regency, and Banyubiru Village, Dukun District, Magelang Regency. An associated pyroclastic flow descended the SSE flank, traveling as far as 2 km. The ash plume from the 28 March eruption rose 2 km above the crater, causing ashfall within 5 km from the summit in the Krinjing subdistrict primarily to the W (figure 94).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 94. Images of ash plumes rising from Merapi during 3 March (left) and 28 March 2020 (right). Images courtesy of BPPTKG (left) and PVMBG (right).

Geologic Background. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time.

Information Contacts: Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG), Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology (URL: http://merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/, Twitter: @BPPTKG); Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/BNPB_Indonesia); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Jamie S. Sincioco, Phillipines (Twitter: @jaimessincioco, Image at https://twitter.com/jaimessincioco/status/1227966075519635456/photo/1).


Erta Ale (Ethiopia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Erta Ale

Ethiopia

13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continued lava flow outbreaks and thermal anomalies during November 2019 to early April 2020

Erta Ale is a shield volcano located in Ethiopia and contains multiple active pit craters in the summit and southeastern caldera. Volcanism has been characterized by lava flows and large lava flow fields since 2017. Surficial lava flow activity continued within the southeastern caldera during November 2019 until early April 2020; source information was primarily from various satellite data.

The number of days that thermal anomalies were detected using MODIS data in MODVOLC and NASA VIIRS satellite data was notably higher in November and December 2019 (figure 96); the number of thermal anomalies in the Sentinel-2 thermal imagery was substantially lower due to the presence of cloud cover. Across all satellite data, thermal anomalies were identified for 29 days in November, followed by 30 days in December. After December 2019, the number of days thermal anomalies were detected decreased; hotspots were detected for 17 days in January 2020 and 20 days in February. By March, these thermal anomalies became rare until activity ceased. Thermal anomalies were identified during 1-4 March, with weak anomalies seen again during 26 March-8 April 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. Graph comparing the number of thermal alerts using calendar dates using MODVOLC, NASA VIIRS, and Sentinel-2 satellite data for Erta Ale during November 2019-March 2020. Data courtesy of HIGP - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, NASA Worldview using the “Fire and Thermal Anomalies” layer, and Sentinel Hub Playground.

MIROVA (Middle Infrared Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed frequent strong thermal anomalies from 18 April through December 2019 (figure 97). Between early August 2019 and March 2020, these thermal signatures were detected at distances less than 5 km from the summit. In late December the thermal intensity dropped slightly before again increasing, while at the same time moving slightly closer to the summit. Thermal anomalies then became more intermittent and steadily decreased in power over the next two months.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 97. Two time-series plots of thermal anomalies from Erta Ale from 18 April 2019 through 18 April 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system. The top plot (A) shows that the thermal anomalies were consistently strong (measured in log radiative power) and occurred frequently until early January 2020 when both the power and frequency visibly declined. The lower plot (B) shows these anomalies as a function of distance from the summit, including a sudden decrease in distance (measured in kilometers) in early August 2019, reflecting a change in the location of the lava flow outbreak. A smaller distance change can be identified at the end of December 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Unlike the obvious distal breakouts to the NE seen previously (BGVN 44:04 and 44:11), infrared satellite imagery during November-December 2019 showed only a small area with a thermal anomaly near the NE edge of the Southeast Caldera (figure 98). A thermal alert was seen at that location using the MODVOLC system on 28 December, but the next day it had been replaced by an anomaly about 1.5 km WSW near the N edge of the Southeast Caldera where the recent flank eruption episode had been centered between January 2017 and January 2018 (BGVN 43:04). The thermal anomaly that was detected in the summit caldera was no longer visible after 9 January 2020, based on Sentinel-2 imagery. The exact location of lava flows shifted within the same general area during January and February 2020 and was last detected by Sentinel-2 on 4 March. After about two weeks without detectable thermal activity, weak unlocated anomalies were seen in VIIRS data on 26 March and in MODIS data on the MIROVA system four times between 26 March and 8 April. No further anomalies were noted through the rest of April 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 98. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery of Erta Ale volcanism between November 2019 and March 2020 showing small lava flow outbreaks (bright yellow-orange) just NE of the southeastern calderas. A thermal anomaly can be seen in the summit crater on 15 November and very faintly on 20 December 2019. Imagery on 19 January 2020 showed a small thermal anomaly near the N edge of the Southeast Caldera where the recent flank eruption episode had been centered between January 2017 and January 2018. The last weak thermal hotspot was detected on 4 March (bottom right). Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Erta Ale is an isolated basaltic shield that is the most active volcano in Ethiopia. The broad, 50-km-wide edifice rises more than 600 m from below sea level in the barren Danakil depression. Erta Ale is the namesake and most prominent feature of the Erta Ale Range. The volcano contains a 0.7 x 1.6 km, elliptical summit crater housing steep-sided pit craters. Another larger 1.8 x 3.1 km wide depression elongated parallel to the trend of the Erta Ale range is located SE of the summit and is bounded by curvilinear fault scarps on the SE side. Fresh-looking basaltic lava flows from these fissures have poured into the caldera and locally overflowed its rim. The summit caldera is renowned for one, or sometimes two long-term lava lakes that have been active since at least 1967, or possibly since 1906. Recent fissure eruptions have occurred on the N flank.

Information Contacts: MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); NASA Worldview (URL: https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/).


Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Rincon de la Vieja

Costa Rica

10.83°N, 85.324°W; summit elev. 1916 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Weak phreatic explosions during August 2019-March 2020; ash and lahars reported in late January

Rincón de la Vieja is a remote volcanic complex in Costa Rica containing an acid lake that has regularly generated weak phreatic explosions since 2011 (BGVN 44:08). The most recent eruptive period occurred during late March-early June 2019, primarily consisting of small phreatic explosions, minor deposits on the N crater rim, and gas-and-steam emissions. The report period of August 2019-March 2020 was characterized by similar activity, including small phreatic explosions, gas-and-steam plumes, ash and lake sediment ejecta, and volcanic tremors. The most significant activity during this time occurred on 30 January, where a phreatic explosion ejected ash and lake sediment above the crater rim, resulting in a pyroclastic flow which gradually turned into a lahar. Information for this reporting period of August 2019-March 2020 comes from the Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA) using weekly bulletins.

According to OVSICORI-UNA, a small hydrothermal eruption was recorded on 1 August 2019. The seismicity was low with a few long period (LP) earthquakes around 1 August and intermittent background tremor. No explosions or emissions were reported through 11 September; seismicity remained low with an occasional LP earthquake and discontinuous tremor. The summit’s extension that has been recorded since the beginning of June stopped, and no significant deformation was observed in August.

Starting again in September 2019 and continuing intermittently through the reporting period, some deformation was observed at the base of the volcano as well as near the summit, according to OVSICORI-UNA. On 12 September an eruption occurred that was followed by volcanic tremors that continued through 15 September. In addition to these tremors, vigorous sustained gas-and-steam plumes were observed. The 16 September weekly bulletin did not describe any ejecta produced as a result of this event.

During 1-3 October small phreatic eruptions were accompanied by volcanic tremors that had decreased by 5 October. In November, volcanism and seismicity were relatively low and stable; few LP earthquakes were reported. This period of low activity remained through December. At the end of November, horizontal extension was observed at the summit, which continued through the first half of January.

Small phreatic eruptions were recorded on 2, 28, and 29 January 2020, with an increase in seismicity occurring on 27 January. On 30 January at 1213 a phreatic explosion produced a gas column that rose 1,500-2,000 m above the crater, with ash and lake sediment ejected up to 100 m above the crater. A news article posted by the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) noted that this explosion generated pyroclastic flows that traveled down the N flank for more than 2 km from the crater. As the pyroclastic flows moved through tributary channels, lahars were generated in the Pénjamo river, Zanjonuda gorge, and Azufrosa, traveling N for 4-10 km and passing through Buenos Aires de Upala (figure 29). Seismicity after this event decreased, though there were still some intermittent tremors.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Photo of a lahar generated from the 30 January 2020 eruption at Rincon de la Vieja. Photo taken by Mauricio Gutiérrez, courtesy of UCR.

On 17, 24, and 25 February and 11, 17, 19, 21, and 23 March, small phreatic eruptions were detected, according to OVSICORI-UNA. Geodetic measurements observed deformation consisting of horizontal extension and inflation near the summit in February-March. By the week of 30 March, the weekly bulletin reported 2-3 small eruptions accompanied by volcanic tremors occurred daily during most days of the week. None of these eruptions produced solid ejecta, pyroclastic flows, or lahars, according to the weekly OVSICORI-UNA bulletins during February-March 2020.

Geologic Background. Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge that was constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of 1916-m-high Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/, https://www.facebook.com/OVSICORI/); Luis Enrique Brenes Portuguéz, University of Costa Rica, Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio Brenes, San José, San Pedro, Costa Rica (URL: https://www.ucr.ac.cr/noticias/2020/01/30/actividad-del-volcan-rincon-de-la-vieja-es-normal-segun-experto.html).


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Manam

Papua New Guinea

4.08°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor explosive activity, continued thermal activity, and SO2 emissions, October 2019-March 2020.

Manam is a basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano that lies 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea; it has a 400-year history of recorded evidence for recurring low-level ash plumes, occasional Strombolian activity, lava flows, pyroclastic avalanches, and large ash plumes from Main and South, the two active summit craters. The current eruption, ongoing since June 2014, produced multiple large explosive eruptions during January-September 2019, including two 15-km-high ash plumes in January, repeated SO2 plumes each month, and another 15.2 km-high ash plume in June that resulted in ashfall and evacuations of several thousand people (BGVN 44:10).

This report covers continued activity during October 2019 through March 2020. Information about Manam is primarily provided by Papua New Guinea's Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), part of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM). This information is supplemented with aviation alerts from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). MODIS thermal anomaly satellite data is recorded by the University of Hawai'i's MODVOLC thermal alert recording system, and the Italian MIROVA project; sulfur dioxide monitoring is done by instruments on satellites managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Satellite imagery provided by the Sentinel Hub Playground is also a valuable resource for information about this remote location.

A few modest explosions with ash emissions were reported in early October and early November 2019, and then not again until late March 2020. Although there was little explosive activity during the period, thermal anomalies were recorded intermittently, with low to moderate activity almost every month, as seen in the MODIS data from MIROVA (figure 71) and also in satellite imagery. Sulfur dioxide emissions persisted throughout the period producing emissions greater than 2.0 Dobson Units that were recorded in satellite data 3-13 days each month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. MIROVA thermal anomaly data for Manam from 17 June 2019 through March 2020 indicate continued low and moderate level thermal activity each month from August 2019 through February 2020, after a period of increased activity in June and early July 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume in visible satellite imagery moving NW at 3.1 km altitude on 2 October 2019. Weak ash emissions were observed drifting N for the next two days along with an IR anomaly at the summit. RVO reported incandescence at night during the first week of October. Visitors to the summit on 18 October 2019 recorded steam and fumarolic activity at both of the summit craters (figure 72) and recent avalanche debris on the steep slopes (figure 73).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Steam and fumarolic activity rose from Main crater at Manam on 18 October 2019 in this view to the south from a ridge north of the crater. Google Earth inset of summit shows location of photograph. Courtesy of Vulkanologische Gesellschaft and Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Volcanic debris covered an avalanche chute on the NE flank of Manam when visited by hikers on 18 October 2019. Courtesy of Vulkanologische Gesellschaft and Claudio Jung, used with permission.

On 2 November, a single large explosion at 1330 local time produced a thick, dark ash plume that rose about 1,000 m above the summit and drifted NW. A shockwave from the explosion was felt at the Bogia Government station located 40 km SE on the mainland about 1 minute later. RVO reported an increase in seismicity on 6 November about 90 minutes before the start of a new eruption from the Main Crater which occurred between 1600 and 1630; it produced light to dark gray ash clouds that rose about 1,000 m above the summit and drifted NW. Incandescent ejecta was visible at the start of the explosion and continued with intermittent strong pulses after dark, reaching peak intensity around 1900. Activity ended by 2200 that evening. The Darwin VAAC reported a discrete emission observed in satellite imagery on 8 November that rose to 4.6 km altitude and drifted WNW, although ground observers confirmed that no eruption took place; emissions were only steam and gas. There were no further reports of explosive activity until the Darwin VAAC reported an ash emission in visible satellite imagery on 20 March 2020 that rose to 3.1 km altitude and drifted E for a few hours before dissipating.

Although explosive activity was minimal during the period, SO2 emissions, and evidence for continued thermal activity were recorded by satellite instruments each month. The TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite captured evidence each month of SO2 emissions exceeding two Dobson Units (figure 74). The most SO2 activity occurred during October 2019, with 13 days of signatures over 2.0 DU. There were six days of elevated SO2 each month in November and December, and five days in January 2020. During February and March, activity was less, with smaller SO2 plumes recording more than 2.0 DU on three days each month. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery recorded thermal anomalies at least once from one or both of the summit craters each month between October 2019 and March 2020 (figure 75).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. SO2 emissions at Manam exceeded 2 Dobson Units multiple days each month between October 2019 and March 2020. On 3 October 2019 (top left) emissions were also measured from Ulawun located 700 km E on New Britain island. On 30 November 2019 (top middle), in addition to a plume drifting N from Manam, a small SO2 plume was detected at Bagana on Bougainville Island, 1150 km E. The plume from Manam on 2 December 2019 drifted ESE (top right). On 26 January 2020 the plume drifted over 300 km E (bottom left). The plumes measured on 29 February and 4 March 2020 (bottom middle and right) only drifted a few tens of kilometers before dissipating. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, and 8a) showed thermal anomalies at one or both of Manam’s summit craters each month during October 2019-March 2020. On 17 October 2019 (top left) a bright anomaly and weak gas plume drifted NW from South crater, while a dense steam plume and weak anomaly were present at Main crater. On 25 January 2020 (top right) the gas and steam from the two craters were drifting E; the weaker Main crater thermal anomaly is just visible at the edge of the clouds. A clear image on 5 March 2020 (bottom left) shows weak plumes and distinct thermal anomalies from both craters; on 20 March (bottom right) the anomalies are still visible through dense cloud cover that may include steam from the crater vents as well. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical 1807-m-high basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These "avalanche valleys" channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent historical eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Geohazards Management Division, Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), PO Box 3386, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea; MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Vulkanologische Gesellschaft (URL: https://twitter.com/vulkanologen/status/1194228532219727874, https://twitter.com/vulkanologen/status/1193788836679225344); Claudio Jung, (URL: https://www.facebook.com/claudio.jung.1/posts/10220075272173895, https://www.instagram.com/jung.claudio/).


Stromboli (Italy) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Stromboli

Italy

38.789°N, 15.213°E; summit elev. 924 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian activity continues at both summit crater areas, September-December 2019

Near-constant fountains of lava at Stromboli have served as a natural beacon in the Tyrrhenian Sea for at least 2,000 years. Eruptive activity at the summit consistently occurs from multiple vents at both a north crater area (N area) and a southern crater group (CS area) on the Terrazza Craterica at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a large scarp that runs from the summit down the NW side of the volcano-island (figure 168). Periodic lava flows emerge from the vents and flow down the scarp, sometimes reaching the sea; occasional large explosions produce ash plumes and pyroclastic flows. Thermal and visual cameras that monitor activity at the vents are located on the nearby Pizzo Sopra La Fossa, above the Terrazza Craterica, and at multiple locations on the flanks of the volcano. Detailed information for Stromboli is provided by Italy's Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) as well as other satellite sources of data; September-December 2019 is covered in this report.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 168. This shaded relief map of Stromboli’s crater area was created from images acquired by drone on 9 July 2019 (In collaboration with GEOMAR drone group, Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany). Inset shows Stromboli Island, the black rectangle indicates the area of the larger image, the black curved and the red hatched lines indicate, respectively, the morphological escarpment and the crater edges. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 50/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Settimanale, 02/12/2019 - 08/12/2019, data emissione 10/12/2019).

Activity was very consistent throughout the period of September-December 2019. Explosion rates ranged from 2-36 per hour and were of low to medium-high intensity, producing material that rose from less than 80 to over 150 m above the vents on occasion (table 7). The Strombolian activity in both crater areas often sent ejecta outside the crater rim onto the Terrazza Craterica, and also down the Sciara del Fuoco towards the coast. After the explosions of early July and late August, thermal activity decreased to more moderate levels that persisted throughout the period as seen in the MIROVA Log Radiative Power data (figure 169). Sentinel-2 satellite imagery supported descriptions of the constant glow at the summit, revealing incandescence at both summit areas, each showing repeating bursts of activity throughout the period (figure 170).

Table 7. Monthly summary of activity levels at Stromboli, September-December 2019. Low-intensity activity indicates ejecta rising less than 80 m, medium-intensity is ejecta rising less than 150 m, and high-intensity is ejecta rising over 200 m above the vent. Data courtesy of INGV.

Month Activity
Sep 2019 Explosion rates varied from 11-36 events per hour and were of low- to medium intensity (producing 80-120 m high ejecta). Lapilli and bombs were typical from the N area, and coarse and finer-grained tephra (lapilli and ash) were most common in the CS area. The Strombolian activity in both crater areas often sent ejecta outside the crater rim onto the terrace, and also down the Sciara del Fuoco towards the coast.
Oct 2019 Typical Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosions rates varied from 2-21 events per hour. Low intensity activity was common in the N area (ejecta less than 80 m high) and low to moderate intensity activity was typical in the CS area, with a few explosions rising over 150 m high. Lapilli and bombs were typical from the N area, and coarse and finer-grained tephra (lapilli and ash) were most common in the CS area. Some of the explosions sent ejecta down the Sciara del Fuoco.
Nov 2019 Typical Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosion rates varied from 11-23 events per hour with ejecta rising usually 80-150 m above the vents. Occasional explosions rose 250 m high. In the N area, explosions were generally low intensity with coarse material (lapilli and bombs). In many explosions, ejecta covered the outer slopes of the area overlooking the Sciara del Fuoco, and some blocks rolled for a few hundred meters before stopping. In the CS area, coarse material was mixed with fine and some explosions sent ejecta onto the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco.
Dec 2019 Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosion rates varied from 12-26 per hour. In the N area, explosion intensity was mainly medium-low (less than 150 m) with coarse ejecta while in the CS area it was usually medium-high (more than 150 m) with both coarse and fine ejecta. In many explosions, debris covered the outer slopes of the area overlooking the Sciara del Fuoco, and some blocks rolled for a few hundred meters before stopping. Spattering activity was noted in the southern vents of the N area.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 169. Thermal activity at Stromboli was high during July-August 2019, when two major explosions occurred. Activity continued at more moderate levels through December 2019 as seen in the MIROVA graph of Log Radiative Power from 8 June through December 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 170. Stromboli reliably produced strong thermal signals from both of the summit vents throughout September-December 2019 and has done so since long before Sentinel-2 satellite imagery was able to detect it. Image dates are (top, l to r) 5 September, 15 October, 20 October, (bottom l to r) 14 November, 14 December 2019, and 3 January 2020. Sentinel-2 imagery uses Atmospheric penetration rendering with bands 12, 11, and 8A, courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

After a major explosion with a pyroclastic flow on 28 August 2019, followed by lava flows that reached the ocean in the following days (BGVN 44:09), activity diminished in early September to levels more typically seen in recent times. This included Strombolian activity from vents in both the N and CS areas that sent ejecta typically 80-150 m high. Ejecta from the N area generally consisted of lapilli and bombs, while the material from the CS area was often finer grained with significant amounts of lapilli and ash. The number of explosive events remained high in September, frequently reaching 25-30 events per hour. The ejecta periodically landed outside the craters on the Terrazza Craterica and even traveled partway down the Sciara del Fuoco. An inspection on 7 September by INGV revealed four eruptive vents in the N crater area and five in the S crater area (figure 171). The most active vents in the N area were N1 with mostly ash emissions and N2 with Strombolian explosions rich in incandescent coarse material that sometimes rose well above 150 m in height. In the S area, S1 and S2 produced jets of lava that often reached 100 m high. A small cone was observed around N2, having grown after the 28 August explosion. Between 11 and 13 September aerial surveys with drones produced detailed visual and thermal imagery of the summit (figure 172).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 171. Video of the Stromboli summit taken with a thermal camera on 7 September 2019 from the Pizzo sopra la Fossa revealed four active vents in the N area and five active vents in the S area. Images prepared by Piergiorgio Scarlato, courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 37.2/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 10/09/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 172. An aerial drone survey on 11 September 2019 at Stromboli produced a detailed view of the N and CS vent areas (left) and thermal images taken by a drone survey on 13 September (right) showed elevated temperatures down the Sciara del Fuoco in addition to the vents in the N and CS areas. Images by E. De Beni and M. Cantarero, courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 37.5/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 13/09/2019).

Strombolian activity from the N crater on 28 September and 1 October 2019 produced blocks and debris that rolled down the Sciara del Fuoco and reached the ocean (figure 173). Explosive activity from the CS crater area sometimes produced ejecta over 150 m high (figure 174). A survey on 26 November revealed that a layer of ash 5-10 cm thick had covered the bombs and blocks that were deposited on the Pizzo Sopra la Fossa during the explosions of 3 July and 28 August (figure 175). On the morning of 27 December a lava flow emerged from the CS area and traveled a few hundred meters down the Sciara del Fuoco. The frequency of explosive events remained relatively constant from September through December 2019 after decreasing from higher levels during July and August (figure 176).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 173. Strombolian activity from vents in the N crater area of Stromboli produced ejecta that traveled all the way to the bottom of the Sciara del Fuoco and entered the ocean. Top images taken 28 September 2019 from the 290 m elevation viewpoint by Rosanna Corsaro. Bottom images captured on 1 October from the webcam at 400 m elevation. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 39.0/2019 and Rep. No. 40.3, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 29/09/2019 and 02/10/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 174. Ejecta from Strombolian activity at the CS crater area of Stromboli rose over 150 m on multiple occasions. The webcam located at the 400 m elevation site captured this view of activity on 8 November 2019. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 45.5/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 08/11/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 175. The Pizzo Sopra la Fossa area at Stromboli was covered with large blocks and pyroclastic debris on 6 September 2019, a week after the major explosion of 28 August (top). By 26 November, 5-10 cm of finer ash covered the surface; the restored webcam can be seen at the far right edge of the Pizzo (bottom). Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 49/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Settimanale, 25/11/2019 - 01/12/2019, data emissione 03/12/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 176. The average hourly frequency of explosive events at Stromboli captured by surveillance cameras from 1 June 2019 through 5 January 2020 remained generally constant after the high levels seen during July and August. The Total value (blue) is the sum of the average daily hourly frequency of all explosive events produced by active vents.

Geologic Background. Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period took place between about 13,000 and 5,000 years ago. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild Strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.

Information Contacts: Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy, (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/en/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Semeru (Indonesia) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

8.108°S, 112.922°E; summit elev. 3657 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes and thermal anomalies continue during September 2019-February 2020

Semeru is a stratovolcano located in East Java, Indonesia containing an active Jonggring-Seloko vent at the Mahameru summit. Common activity has consisted of ash plumes, pyroclastic flows and avalanches, and lava flows that travel down the SE flank. This report updates volcanism from September 2019 to February 2020 using primary information from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

The dominant activity at Semeru for this reporting period consists of ash plumes, which were frequently reported by the Darwin VAAC. An eruption on 10 September 2019 produced an ash plume rising 4 km altitude drifting WNW, as seen in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery. Ash plumes continued to rise during 13-14 September. During the month of October the Darwin VAAC reported at least six ash plumes on 13, 14, 17-18, and 29-30 October rising to a maximum altitude of 4.6 km and moving primarily S and SW. Activity in November and December was relatively low, dominated mostly by strong and frequent thermal anomalies.

Volcanism increased in January 2020 starting with an eruption on 17 and 18 January that sent a gray ash plume up to 4.6 km altitude (figure 38). Eruptions continued from 20 to 26 January, producing ash plumes that rose up to 500 m above the crater that drifted in different directions. For the duration of the month and into February, ash plumes occurred intermittently. On 26 February, incandescent ejecta was ejected up to 50 m and traveled as far as 1000 m. Small sulfur dioxide emissions were detected in the Sentinel 5P/TROPOMI instrument during 25-27 February (figure 39). Lava flows during 27-29 February extended 200-1,000 m down the SE flank; gas-and-steam and SO2 emissions accompanied the flows. There were 15 shallow volcanic earthquakes detected on 29 February in addition to ash emissions rising 4.3 km altitude drifting ESE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Ash plumes rising from the summit of Semeru on 17 (left) and 18 (right) January 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia and via Ø.L. Andersen's Twitter feed (left).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. Small SO2 plumes from Semeru were detected by the Sentinel 5P/TROPOMI instrument during 25 (left) and 26 (right) February 2020. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed relatively weak and intermittent thermal anomalies occurring during May to August 2019 (figure 40). The frequency and power of these thermal anomalies significantly increased during September to mid-December 2019 with a few hotspots occurring at distances greater than 5 km from the summit. These farther thermal anomalies to the N and NE of the volcano do not appear to be caused by volcanic activity. There was a brief break in activity during mid-December to mid-January 2020 before renewed activity was detected in early February 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. Thermal anomalies were relatively weak at Semeru during 30 April 2019-August 2019, but significantly increased in power and frequency during September to early December 2019. There was a break in activity from mid-December through mid-January 2020 with renewed thermal anomalies around February 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The MODVOLC algorithm detected 25 thermal hotspots during this reporting period, which took place during 25 September, 18 and 21 October 2019, 29 January, and 11, 14, 16, and 23 February 2020. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery shows intermittent hotspots dominantly in the summit crater throughout this reporting period (figure 41).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery detected intermittent thermal anomalies (bright yellow-orange) at the summit of Semeru, which included some lava flows in late January to early February 2020. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises above coastal plains to the south. Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas. A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE. Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com).


Popocatepetl (Mexico) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Popocatepetl

Mexico

19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Dome growth and destruction continues along with ash emissions and ejecta, September 2019-February 2020

Frequent historical eruptions have been reported from Mexico's Popocatépetl going back to the 14th century. Activity increased in the mid-1990s after about 50 years of quiescence, and the current eruption, ongoing since January 2005, has included numerous episodes of lava-dome growth and destruction within the 500-m-wide summit caldera. Multiple emissions of steam and gas occur daily, rising generally 1-3 km above the summit at about 5,400 m elevation; many contain small amounts of ash. Larger, more explosive events with ash plumes and incandescent ejecta landing on the flanks occur frequently. Activity through August 2019 was typical of the ongoing eruption with near-constant emissions of water vapor, gas, and minor ash, as well as multiple explosions with ash plumes and incandescent blocks scattered on the flanks (BGVN 44:09). This report covers similar activity from September 2019 through February 2020. Information comes from daily reports provided by México's Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED); ash plumes are reported by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Satellite visible and thermal imagery and SO2 data also provide helpful observations of activity.

Activity summary. Activity at Popocatépetl during September 2019-February 2020 continued at the high levels that have been ongoing for many years, characterized by hundreds of daily low-intensity emissions that included steam, gas, and small amounts of ash, and periods with multiple daily minor and moderate explosions that produce kilometer-plus-high ash plumes (figure 140). The Washington VAAC issued multiple daily volcanic ash advisories with plume altitudes around 6 km for many, although some were reported as high as 8.2 km. Hundreds of minutes of daily tremor activity often produced ash emissions as well. Incandescent ejecta landed 500-1,000 m from the summit frequently. The MIROVA thermal anomaly data showed near-constant moderate to high levels of thermal energy throughout the period (figure 141).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 140. Emissions continued at a high rate from Popocatépetl throughout September 2019-February 2020. Daily low-intensity emissions numbered usually in the hundreds (blue, left axis), while less frequent minor (orange) and moderate (green) explosions, plotted on the right axis, occurred intermittently through November 2019, and increased again during February 2020. Data was compiled from CENAPRED daily reports.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 141. MIROVA log radiative power thermal data for Popocatépetl from 1 May 2019 through February 2020 showed a constant output of moderate energy the entire time. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Sulfur dioxide emissions were measured with satellite instruments many days of each month from September 2019 thru February 2020. The intensity and drift directions varied significantly; some plumes remained detectable hundreds of kilometers from the volcano (figure 142). Plumes were detected almost daily in September, and on most days in October. They were measured at lower levels but often during November, and after pulses in early and late December only small plumes were visible during January 2020. Intermittent larger pulses returned in February. Dome growth and destruction in the summit crater continued throughout the period. A small dome was observed inside the summit crater in late September. Dome 85, 210-m-wide, was observed inside the summit crater in early November. Satellite imagery captured evidence of dome growth and ash emissions throughout the period (figure 143).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 142. Sulfur dioxide emissions from Popocatépetl were frequent from September 2019 through February 2020. Plumes drifted SW on 7 September (top left), 30 October (top middle), and 21 February (bottom right). SO2 drifted N and NW on 26 November (top right). On 2 December (bottom left) a long plume of sulfur dioxide hundreds of kilometers long drifted SW over the Pacific Ocean while the drift direction changed to NW closer to the volcano. The SO2 plumes measured in January (bottom center) were generally smaller than during the other months covered in this report. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 143. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Popocatépetl during November 2019-February 2020 provided evidence for ongoing dome growth and explosions with ash emissions. Top left: a ring of incandescence inside the summit crater on 8 November 2019 was indicative of the growth of dome 85 observed by CENAPRED. Top middle: incandescence on 8 December inside the summit crater was typical of that observed many times during the period. Top right: a dense, narrow ash plume drifted N from the summit on 17 January 2020. Bottom left: Snow cover made ashfall on 6 February easily visible on the E flank. On 11 February, the summit crater was incandescent and nearly all the snow was covered with ash. Bottom right: a strong thermal anomaly and ash emission were captured on 21 February. Bottom left and top right images use Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); other images use Atmospheric penetration rendering to show infrared signal (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during September-November 2019. On 1 September 2019 minor ashfall was reported in the communities of Atlautla, Ozumba, Juchitepec, and Tenango del Aire in the State of Mexico. The ash plumes rose less than 2 km above the summit and incandescent ejecta traveled less than 100 m from the summit crater. Twenty-two minor and three moderate explosions were recorded on 4-5 September along with minor ashfall in Juchitepec, Tenango del Aire, Tepetlixpa, and Atlautla. During a flyover on 5 September, officials did not observe a dome within the crater, and the dimensions remained the same as during the previous visit (350 m in diameter and 150 m deep) (figure 144). Ashfall was reported in Tlalmanalco and Amecameca on 6 September. The following day incandescent ejecta was visible on the flanks near the summit and ashfall was reported in Amecameca, Ayapango, and Tenango del Aire. The five moderate explosions on 8 September produced ash plumes that rose as high as 2 km above the summit, and incandescent ejecta on the flanks. Explosions on 10 September sent ejecta 500 m from the crater. Eight explosions during 20-21 September produced ejecta that traveled up to 1.5 km down the flanks (figure 145). During an overflight on 27 September specialists from the National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED ) of the National Coordination of Civil Protection and researchers from the Institute of Geophysics of UNAM observed a new dome 30 m in diameter; the overall crater had not changed size since the overflight in early September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 144. CENAPRED carried out overflights of Popocatépetl on 5 (left) and 27 September (right) 2019; the crater did not change in size, but a new dome 30 m in diameter was visible on 27 September. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Sobrevuelo al volcán Popocatépetl, 05 y 27 de septiembre).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 145. Ash plumes at Popocatépetl on 19 (left) and 20 (right) September 2019 rose over a kilometer above the summit before dissipating. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 19 y 20 de septiembre).

Fourteen explosions were reported on 2 October 2019. The last one produced an ash plume that rose 2 km above the summit and sent incandescent ejecta down the E slope (figure 146). Ashfall was reported in the municipalities of Atlautla Ozumba, Ayapango and Ecatzingo in the State of Mexico. Explosions on 3 and 4 October also produced ash plumes that rose between 1 and 2 km above the summit and sent ejecta onto the flanks. Additional incandescent ejecta was reported on 6, 7, 15, and 19 October. The communities of Amecameca, Tenango del Aire, Tlalmanalco, Cocotitlán, Temamatla, and Tláhuac reported ashfall on 10 October; Amecameca reported more ashfall on 12 October. On 22 October slight ashfall appeared in Amecameca, Tenango del Aire, Tlalmanalco, Ayapango, Temamatla, and Atlautla.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 146. Incandescent ejecta at Popocatépetl traveled down the E slope on 2 October 2019 (left); an ash plume two days later rose 2 km above the summit (right). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 2 y 4 de octubre).

During 2-3 November 2019 there was 780 minutes of tremor reported in four different episodes. The seismicity was accompanied by ash emissions that drifted W and NW and produced ashfall in numerous communities, including Amecameca, Juchitepec, Ozumba, Tepetlixpa, and Atlautla in the State of México, in Ayapango and Cuautla in the State of Morelos, and in the municipalities of Tlahuac, Tlalpan, and Xochimilco in Mexico City. A moderate explosion on 4 November sent incandescent ejecta 2 km down the slopes and produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted NW. Minor ashfall was reported in Tlalmanalco, Amecameca, and Tenango del Aire, State of Mexico. Similar ash plumes from explosions occurred the following day. Scientists from CENAPRED and the Institute of Geophysics of UNAM observed dome number 85 during an overflight on 5 November 2019. It had a diameter of 210 m and was 80 m thick, with an irregular surface (figure 147). Multiple explosions on 6 and 7 November produced incandescent ejecta; a moderate explosion late on 11 November produced ejecta that traveled 1.5 km from the summit and produced an ash plume 2 km high (figure 148). A lengthy period of constant ash emission that drifted E was reported on 18 November. A moderate explosion on 28 November sent incandescent fragments 1.5 km down the slopes and ash one km above the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 147. A new dome was visible inside the summit crater at Popocatépetl during an overflight on 5 November 2019. It had a diameter of 210 m and was 80 m thick. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Sobrevuelo al volcán Popocatépetl, 05 de noviembre).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 148. Ash emissions and explosions with incandescent ejecta continued at Popocatépetl during November 2019. The ash plume on 1 November changed drift direction sharply a few hundred meters above the summit (left). Incandescent ejecta traveled 1.5 km down the flanks on 11 November (right). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 1 y 12 de noviembre).

Activity during December 2019-February 2020. Throughout December 2019 weak emissions of steam and gas were reported daily, sometimes with minor amounts of ash, and minor explosions were only reported on 21 and 27 December. On 21 December two new high-resolution webcams were installed around Popocatépetl, one 5 km from the crater at the Tlamacas station, and the second in San Juan Tianguismanalco, 20 km away. Ash emissions and incandescent ejecta 800 m from the summit were observed on 25 December (figure 149). Incandescence at night was reported during 27-29 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 149. Incandescent ejecta moved 800 m down the flanks of Popocatépetl during explosions on 25 December 2019 (left); weak emissions of steam, gas, and minor ash were visible on 27 December and throughout the month. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 25 y 27 de diciembre).

Continuous emissions of water vapor and gas with low ash content were typical daily during January 2020. A moderate explosion on 9 January produced an ash plume that rose 3 km from the summit and drifted NE. In addition, incandescent ejecta traveled 1 km from the crater rim. A minor explosion on 21 January produced a 1.5-km-high plume with low ash content and incandescent ejecta that fell near the crater (figure 150). The first of two explosions late on 27 January produced ejecta that traveled 500 m and a 1-km-high ash plume. Constant incandescence was observed overnight on 29-30 January.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 150. Although fewer explosions were recorded at Popocatépetl during January 2020, activity continued. An ash plume on 19 January rose over a kilometer above the summit (top left). A minor explosion on 21 January produced a 1.5-km-high plume with low ash content and incandescent ejecta that fell near the crater (top right). Smaller emissions with steam, gas, and ash were typical many days, including on 22 (bottom left) and 31 (bottom right) January 2019. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 19, 21, 22 y 31 de enero).

A moderate explosion on 5 February 2020 produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted NNE. Explosions on 10 and 13 February sent ejecta 500 m down the flanks (figure 151). During an overflight on 18 February scientists noted that the internal crater maintained a diameter of 350 m and its approximate depth was 100-150 m; the crater was covered by tephra. For most of the second half of February the volcano had a continuous emission of gases with minor amounts of ash. In addition, multiple explosions produced ash plumes that rose 400-1,200 m above the crater and drifted in several different directions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 151. Ash emissions and explosions continued at Popocatépetl during February 2020. Dense ash drifted near the snow-covered summit on 6 February (top left). Incandescent ejecta traveled 500 m down the flanks on 13 February (top right). Ash plumes billowed from the summit on 18 and 22 February (bottom row). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl, 6, 15, 18 y 22 de febrero).

Geologic Background. Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since Pre-Columbian time.

Information Contacts: Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED), Av. Delfín Madrigal No.665. Coyoacan, México D.F. 04360, México (URL: http://www.cenapred.unam.mx/), Daily Report Archive http://www.cenapred.unam.mx:8080/reportesVolcanGobMX/BuscarReportesVolcan); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Santa Maria (Guatemala) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Santa Maria

Guatemala

14.757°N, 91.552°W; summit elev. 3745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continue, September 2019-February 2020

The dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex on the W flank of Guatemala's Santa María volcano has been growing and actively erupting since 1922. Ash explosions, pyroclastic, and lava flows have emerged from Caliente, the youngest of the four vents in the complex, for more than 40 years. A lava dome that appeared within the summit crater of Caliente in October 2016 has continued to grow, producing frequent block avalanches down the flanks. Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continued during September 2019-February 2020, the period covered in this report, with information primarily from Guatemala's INSIVUMEH (Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meterologia e Hidrologia) and the Washington VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Center).

Constant fumarolic activity with steam and gas persisted from the Caliente dome throughout September 2019-February 2020. Explosions occurred multiple times per day, producing ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 3.1-3.5 km and usually drifted a few kilometers before dissipating. Several lahars during September and October carried volcanic blocks, ash, and debris down major drainages. Periodic ashfall was reported in communities within 10 km of the volcano. An increase in thermal activity beginning in November (figure 101) resulted in an increased number of observations of incandescence visible at night from the summit of Caliente through February 2020. Block avalanches occurred daily on the flanks of the dome, often reaching the base, stirring up small clouds of ash that drifted downwind.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 101. The MIROVA project graph of thermal activity at Santa María from 12 May 2019 through February 2020 shows a gradual increase in thermal energy beginning in November 2019. This corresponds to an increase in the number of daily observations of incandescence at the summit of the Caliente dome during this period. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Constant steam and gas fumarolic activity rose from the Caliente dome, drifting W, usually rising to 2.8-3.0 km altitude during September 2019. Multiple daily explosions with ash plumes rising to 2.9-3.4 km altitude drifted W or SW over the communities of San Marcos, Loma Linda Palajunoj, and Monte Claro (figure 102). Constant block avalanches fell to the base of the cone on the NE and SE flanks. The Washington VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery on 10 September at 3.1 km altitude drifting W. On 14 September another plume was spotted moving WSW at 4.6 km altitude which dissipated quickly; the webcam captured another plume on 16 September. Ashfall on 27 September reached about 1 km from the volcano; it reached 1.5 km on 29 September. Lahars descended the Rio Cabello de Ángel on 2 and 24 September (figure 102). They were about 15 m wide, and 1-3 m deep, carrying blocks 1-2 m in diameter.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 102. A lahar descended the Rio Cabello de Ángel at Santa Maria and flowed into the Rio Nima 1 on 24 September 2019. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 21 al 27 de septiembre de 2019).

Througout October 2019, degassing of steam with minor gases occurred from the Caliente summit, rising to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and generally drifting SW. Weak explosions took place 1-5 times per hour, producing ash plumes that rose to 3.2-3.5 km altitude. Ashfall was reported in Monte Claro on 2 October. Nearly constant block avalanches descended the SE and S flanks, disturbing recent layers of fine ash and producing local ash clouds. Moderate explosions on 11 October produced ash plumes that rose to 3.5 km altitude and drifted W and SW about 1.5 km towards Río San Isidro (figure 103). The following day additional plumes drifted a similar distance to the SE. The Washington VAAC reported an ash emission visible in satellite imagery at 4.9 km altitude on 13 October drifting NNW. Ashfall was reported in Parcelamiento Monte Claro on 14 October. Some of the block avalanches observed on 14 October on the SE, S, and SW flanks were incandescent. Ash drifted 1.5 km W and SW on 17 October. Ashfall was reported near la finca Monte Claro on 25 and 28 October. A lahar descended the Río San Isidro, a tributary of the Río El Tambor on 7 October carrying blocks 1-2 m in diameter, tree trunks, and branches. It was about 16 m wide and 1-2 m deep. Additional lahars descended the rio Cabello de Angel on 23 and 24 October. They were about 15 m wide and 2 m deep, and carried ash and blocks 1-2 m in diameter, tree trunks, and branches.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 103. Daily ash plumes were reported from the Caliente cone at Santa María during October 2019, similar to these from 30 September (left) and 11 October 2019 (right). Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 28 de septiembre al 04 de octubre de 2019; Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 05 al 11 de octubre de 2019).

During November 2019, steam plumes rose to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and generally drifted E. There were 1-3 explosions per hour; the ash plumes produced rose to altitudes of 3.1-3.5 km and often drifted SW, resulting in ashfall around the volcanic complex. Block avalanches descended the S and SW flanks every day. On 4 November ashfall was reported in the fincas (ranches) of El Faro, Santa Marta, El Viejo Palmar, and Las Marías, and the odor of sulfur was reported 10 km S. Incandescence was observed at the Caliente dome during the night of 5-6 November. Ash fell again in El Viejo Palmar, fincas La Florida, El Faro, and Santa Marta (5-6 km SW) on 7 November. Sulfur odor was also reported 8-10 km S on 16, 19, and 22 November. Fine-grained ash fell on 18 November in Loma Linda and San Marcos Palajunoj. On 29 November strong block avalanches descended in the SW flank, stirring up reddish ash that had fallen on the flanks (figure 104). The ash drifted up to 20 km SW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 104. Ash plumes rose from explosions multiple times per day at Santa Maria’s Santiaguito complex during November 2019, and block avalanches stirred up reddish clouds of ash that drifted for many kilometers. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH. Left, 11 November 2019, from Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 09 al 15 de noviembre de 2019. Right, 29 November 2019 from BOLETÍN VULCANOLÓGICO ESPECIAL BESTG# 106-2019, Guatemala 29 de noviembre de 2019, 10:50 horas (Hora Local).

White steam plumes rising to 2.9-3.0 km altitude drifted SE most days during December 2019. One to three explosions per hour produced ash plumes that rose to 3.1-3.5 km altitude and drifted W and SW producing ashfall on the flanks. Several strong block avalanches sent material down the SW flank. Ash from the explosions drifted about 1.5 km SW on 3 and 7 December. The Washington VAAC reported a small ash emission that rose to 4.9 km altitude and drifted WSW on 8 December, and another on 13 December that rose to 4.3 km altitude. Ashfall was reported up to 10 km S on 24 December. Incandescence was reported at the dome by INSIVUMEH eight times during the month, significantly more than during the recent previous months (figure 105).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 105. Strong thermal anomalies were visible in Sentinel-2 imagery at the summit of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex on 19 December 2019. Image uses Atmospheric Penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during January 2020 was similar to that during previous months. White plumes of steam rose from the Caliente dome to altitudes of 2.7-3.0 km and drifted SE; one to three explosions per hour produced ash plumes that rose to 3.2-3.4 km altitude and generally drifted about 1.5 km SW before dissipating. Frequent block avalanches on the SE flank caused smaller plumes that drifted SSW often over the ranches of San Marcos and Loma Linda Palajunoj. On 28 January ash plumes drifted W and SW over the communities of Calaguache, El Nuevo Palmar, and Las Marías. In addition to incandescence observed at the crater of Caliente dome at least nine times, thermal anomalies in satellite imagery were detected multiple times from the block avalanches on the S flank (figure 106).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 106. Incandescence at the summit and in the block avalanches on the S flank of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex was visible in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 8 and 13 January 2020. Atmospheric penetration rendering images (bands 12, 11, 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The Washington VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery at 4.6 km altitude drifting W on 3 February 2020. INSIVUMEH reported constant steam degassing that rose to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and drifted SW. In addition, 1-3 weak to moderate explosions per hour produced ash plumes to 3.1-3.5 km altitude that drifted about 1 km SW. Small amounts of ashfall around the volcano’s perimeter was common. The ash plumes on 5 February drifted NE over Santa María de Jesús. On 8 February the ash plumes drifted E and SE over the communities of Calaguache, El Nuevo Palmar, and Las Marías. Block avalanches on the S and SE flanks of Caliente dome continued, creating small ash clouds on the flank. Incandescence continued frequently at the crater and was also observed on the S flank in satellite imagery (figure 107).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 107. Incandescence at the summit and on the S flank of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex was frequent during February 2020, including on 2 (left) and 17 (right) February 2020 as seen in Sentinel-2 imagery. Atmostpheric Penetration rendering imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is part of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rise above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The sharp-topped, conical profile is cut on the SW flank by a 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit to the lower flank, and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The renowned Plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four vents, with activity progressing W towards the most recent, Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hydrologia (INSIVUMEH), Unit of Volcanology, Geologic Department of Investigation and Services, 7a Av. 14-57, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/ ); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 42, Number 08 (August 2017)

Managing Editor: Edward Venzke

Bagana (Papua New Guinea)

Frequent ash plumes and thermal anomalies from July 2016 through mid-June 2017

Bulusan (Philippines)

Weak phreatic explosions on 2 March and 5 June 2017

Colima (Mexico)

Multiple flows from the lava dome during October-December 2016; frequent explosions and ash emissions until 7 March 2017

Ebeko (Russia)

New eruption with ash explosions began on 20 October 2016; ongoing through May 2017

Karymsky (Russia)

Persistent ash plumes and thermal anomalies January 2015-March 2016; short-lived explosions with ash, 5-8 October 2016

Kilauea (United States)

New flow from Pu'u 'O'o reaches the sea on 26 July; Kamokuna delta collapses on 31 December 2016

Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica)

Phreatic explosions disperse material up to 2 km from the active crater in March 2016 and June 2017

Sangay (Ecuador)

Intermittent ash emissions and thermal anomalies, January 2015-July 2017

Sheveluch (Russia)

Ash explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lava dome growth continues through July 2017

Tungurahua (Ecuador)

Eruptive episode during April-May 2015, persistent ash emissions and many lahars



Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Bagana

Papua New Guinea

6.137°S, 155.196°E; summit elev. 1855 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent ash plumes and thermal anomalies from July 2016 through mid-June 2017

Eruptive activity has been ongoing at Bagana since February 2000, and frequently active for over 150 years. Due to the remote location of this volcano, the most reliable observations of activity come from the identification of ash plumes in satellite imagery by the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) and thermal anomalies from satellite infrared sensors.

Since July 2016 (BGVN 41:07), the Darwin VAAC issued aviation warnings of ash plumes almost every week through mid-June 2017. The plumes typically rose to between 1.8 and 3.4 km; the most commonly reported altitude of the plume was about 2.1 km. The plumes drifted in multiple directions depending on the local wind patterns. Drift directions were not always reported, but a few reached 110-120 km, and one was observed as far as 160 km away on 7 September 2016.

MODIS data processed by the MIROVA algorithm (figure 28) reinforce the Darwin VAAC reports of a nearly continuous eruption since July 2016 through mid-June 2017. Frequent MODVOLC thermal alerts, also based on MODIS satellite-based data, corroborate the MIROVA analysis.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Thermal anomalies at Bagana shown on a MIROVA plot (Log Radiative Power) for the year ending 12 June 2017. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Geologic Background. Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.

Information Contacts: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Bulusan (Philippines) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Bulusan

Philippines

12.769°N, 124.056°E; summit elev. 1535 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Weak phreatic explosions on 2 March and 5 June 2017

Activity at Bulusan typically has included phreatic explosions from the summit crater and flank vents, ash-and-steam plumes, and minor ashfall in nearby villages (BGVN 41:03, 42:02). The danger zone was expanded in October 2016 when a fissure extended 2 km down the upper S flank that was the source of multiple phreatic explosions (figure 10, and see BGVN 42:02). During the first eight months of 2017, eruptive activity included similar episodes on 2 March and 5 June. Information was provided by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). Throughout the reporting period of 1 January-8 September 2017 the Alert Level remained at 1, indicating a low level of volcanic unrest and a 4-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. A phreatic ash explosion from the SE vent at Bulusan on 17 October 2016 lasted 24 minutes. White steam plumes can be seen rising from other vents. Photo by Drew Zuñiga and provided by 2D Albay, as published in The Philippine Star (18 October 2016).

According to PHIVOLCS, a weak phreatic eruption occurred at 1357 on 2 March 2017. The event was recorded by the seismic network as an explosion-type earthquake followed by short-duration tremor that lasted approximately 26 minutes. Visual observations were obscured by weather clouds, although a small steam plume rising from the SE vent was recorded by a webcam.

On 5 June 2017 another weak phreatic eruption was recorded at 1029 by the seismic network for 12 minutes. The eruption again could not be visually observed due to dense weather clouds covering the summit. Minor ashfall, a sulfuric odor, and a rumbling sound were reported in the barangays (neighborhoods) of Monbon and Cogon, while sulfuric odor was noted in the barangay of Bolos. These three neighborhoods are within the municipality of Irosin, about 8 km SSW of the volcano.

According to a news account (Manila Bulletin), precise leveling data obtained during 29 January to 3 February 2017 indicated deflationary changes since October 2016. PHIVOLCS reported that precise leveling data obtained during 14-23 June 2017 indicated inflation since February 2017. According to PHIVOLCS, continuous GPS measurements have indicated an inflationary trend since July 2016.

Sulfur dioxide emissions on 31 July and 20 August, reported by PHIVOLCS, averaged 82 tonnes/day, which according to a news account (Manila Bulletin) was the same as measured on 29 April 2017. The seismic monitoring network recorded three volcanic earthquakes on 7-8 September. Weak steam plumes from the active vents rose to 50 meters and drifted SW.

Geologic Background. Luzon's southernmost volcano, Bulusan, was constructed along the rim of the 11-km-diameter dacitic-to-rhyolitic Irosin caldera, which was formed about 36,000 years ago. It lies at the SE end of the Bicol volcanic arc occupying the peninsula of the same name that forms the elongated SE tip of Luzon. A broad, flat moat is located below the topographically prominent SW rim of Irosin caldera; the NE rim is buried by the andesitic complex. Bulusan is flanked by several other large intracaldera lava domes and cones, including the prominent Mount Jormajan lava dome on the SW flank and Sharp Peak to the NE. The summit is unvegetated and contains a 300-m-wide, 50-m-deep crater. Three small craters are located on the SE flank. Many moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/); Manila Bulletin (URL: http://mb.com.ph/); Philippine Star (URL: http://www.philstar.com/).


Colima (Mexico) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Colima

Mexico

19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Multiple flows from the lava dome during October-December 2016; frequent explosions and ash emissions until 7 March 2017

Frequent historical eruptions at México's Volcán de Colima (Volcán Fuego) date back to the 16th century and include vulcanian and phreatic explosions, lava flows, large debris avalanches, and pyroclastic flows. The latest eruptive episode began in January 2013. Extensive activity in 2015 included near-constant ash plumes with extensive ashfall, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows (BGVN 41:01). The eruption continued throughout 2016 until the last ash-bearing explosion was reported on 7 March 2017. This report covers the activity through June 2017. Most of the information for this report was gathered from the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil de Colima (UEPCC), the Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia, Universidad de Colima (CUEIV-UdC), and the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Colima was very active from January through April 2016 with hundreds of ash emissions, and a slow-growing lava dome that was first observed on 19 February. Activity decreased during May-September, although multiple explosions with ash plumes still took place most weeks during the period. On 30 September, the lava dome overflowed the crater rim, and sent a slow-moving lava flow and incandescent material down the SW flank. The lava flow continued to grow, reaching over 2 km in length by the end of October. A second lava flow appeared in mid-November, and advanced 1.7 km by early December. Strong ash-bearing explosions during December 2016-January 2017 sent plumes to heights of 4-6 km above the crater. Activity decreased during the second half of February; the last ash-bearing explosion was reported on 7 March 2017. Decreasing seismicity and minor landslides were reported through June 2017 with no further eruptive activity.

Incandescent activity during explosions in January 2016 sent glowing blocks down the flanks of Colima along with spectacular lightning in the ash plumes (figure 119). Ash emissions continued at Colima at a very high rate of multiple daily events, similar to December 2015 (figure 120). The Washington VAAC issued multiple advisories nearly every day during the month with information based on satellite imagery, wind data, webcam images, and notices from the México City Meteorological Watch Office (MWO). The ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.3-6.7 km and most commonly drifted N or E. They generally drifted a few tens of kilometers before dissipating, but a few were still visible as far as 200 km from the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 119. Eruption of ash plume and incandescent material at Colima on 3 January 2016. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 120. Ash eruption at Colima on 10 January 2016. Image from the Webcams de México Colima webcam located at the Laguna de Carrizalillos in Comala, about 25 km SW of the summit.

Multiple daily ash advisories from the Washington VAAC continued during 1-9 February. They resumed on 14 February, and were intermittent for the rest of the month with similar altitudes and drift directions as those observed during January, but at a slightly lower frequency, decreasing towards the end of the month. On 19 February, CUEIV-UdC researcher Nick Varley observed a lava dome emerging from the floor of the crater (figure 121) during a helicopter overflight. It was estimated to be 25-30 m in diameter and 10 m high inside the almost 300-m-diameter, 50-m-deep summit crater. By 29 February, the dome had increased in size (figure 122), and fumarolic activity had also increased on the SE side of the summit crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 121. A new lava dome in the summit crater of Colima on 19 February 2016. Courtesy of CUEIV-UdC (http://www.ucol.mx/enterate/nota.php?docto=2473).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 122. The lava dome at Colima photographed on 29 February 2016 was noticeably larger than when first photographed ten days earlier. Courtesy of SkyAlert (2 March 2016).

Ash plume heights during March 2016 were slightly lower than during February (4.0-6.1 km altitude). Most of the plumes continued to drift NE or SE, and most dissipated within 50 km. During the first week of April, scientists observed fresh ashfall covering the dome at the center of the crater, which had not changed significantly since the previous overflight at the end of February. Persistent ash plumes continued throughout April with a three-minute-long ash emission recorded on 28 April by Colima's webcam.

The frequency of ash emissions decreased during May 2016 and further still during June 2016, when advisories from the Washington VAAC only appeared during five days of the month (1, 4, 13, 23, 30); the plume heights remained similar to previous months, except for a 16 May plume observed moving ENE at 7.6 km. After a two week pause, ash emissions resumed on 17 July with plume heights ranging from 4.3 to 7.3 km altitude through the end of the month. During the second half of August and for part of September, intermittent plumes did not exceed 6.1 km altitude, and dissipated within a few tens of kilometers of the summit.

The Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil de Colima reported that on 26 September seismicity at Colima increased, and incandescence appeared at the crater. On 27 September, small landslides originating from the growing lava dome traveled 100 m down the S flank. By the evening of 30 September, the webcam showed intense activity and crater incandescence as lava spilled over the crater rim and flowed down the SW flank (figure 123). An intense thermal anomaly was visible in short-wave infrared satellite images. An ash plume detected on 1 October in satellite images drifted almost 40 km S and SW; the webcam recorded explosions and pyroclastic flows down the flanks. The OMI instrument on the Aura satellite also recorded significant SO2 plumes drifting W and SW from Colima on 30 September and 1 October (figure 124).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 123. Intense activity at Colima during the late evening of 30 September 2016 (2014 CST), as a new lava flow emerged from the summit crater and moved down the SW flank. Image from the Webcams de México Colima webcam located at the Laguna de Carrizalillos in Comala, about 25 km SW of the summit.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 124. Sulfur dioxide plumes from Colima were captured by the OMI instrument on the Aura satellite on 30 September (upper) and 1 October 2016 (lower). Colima is on the left (west) side, near the coast. The other SO2 plume in central Mexico on the 1 October is from Popocatépetl. The red pixels indicate Dobson Unit (DU) values greater than 2. DU are a measure of molecular density of SO2 in the atmosphere. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

According to news articles (Noticieros Televisa), during 29 September-1 October gas-and-ash plumes rose 4 km and caused ashfall in nearby areas, including La Becererra, La Yerbabuena, San Antonio, and El Jabali in the municipality of Comala (26 km SW), Montitlán in the municipality of Cuauhtémoc (34 km NW), and Juan Barragan in Tonila, Jalisco (14 km SE). On 1 October the Colima State government stated that the communities of La Yerbabuena (80 people) and La Becerrera (230 people) were preemptively evacuated, and an exclusion zone was extended to 12 km on the SW side. A news article noted that Juan Barragan was also evacuated.

The lava flow continued down the flank with incandescent rockfalls (figure 125) and occasional pyroclastic flows; by 4 October it had reached the base of the cone. The volume of the lava dome was estimated to have exceeded 1.2 million cubic meters (figure 126). By 8 October 2016, the lava flow was about 2,000 m long and 270 m wide at its front at the base of the cone. The Washington VAAC reported a strong hotspot consistent with the lava flow in satellite imagery on 9 October. On 13 October, they noted an ash plume that had drifted over 200 km W from the summit. Strong, multi-pixel, daily thermal alerts were issued from MODVOLC during 1-14 October. On 21 October, UEPCC reported that lava continued to flow down the S flank. It was 2.3 km long, 320 m wide, and had an estimated volume of 21 million m3.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 125. A lava flow descends the S flank of Colima on 2 October 2016. Image by Raúl Arámbula, courtesy of Red Sismologica Telemetrica del Estado de Colima-Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia-Universidad de Colima (RESCO-CUEIV-UdeC).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 126. The lava dome overflowing the summit crater at Colima on 5 October 2016. Image by Raúl Arámbula, courtesy of RESCO-CUIEV-UdeC.

Multiple ash plumes rose to altitudes of 5.5-8.2 km and drifted 25-40 km S, SW, and W during 2-4 October. Ashfall was reported in areas on the S and SW flanks. Ash explosions were also frequent throughout the rest of October, with plumes rising to altitudes of 4.3-7 km on many days (figure 127), until they ceased on 4 November for several weeks.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 127. Ash explosion at Colima on 9 October 2016. Steam in the foreground is from the lava flow travelling down the SW flank. Image from the Webcams de México Colima webcam located at the Laguna de Carrizalillos in Comala, about 25 km SW of the summit.

Effusive activity increased again at the very end of October 2016 with the growth of a new lava dome inside the summit crater. By 17 November, a new lava flow was also visible on the S flank (figure 128); it was reported to be about 500 m long by 20 November. After intermittent MODVOLC thermal alerts during late October and early November, they intensified with daily multi-pixel alerts between 15 November and 1 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 128. A new lava flow on the S flank of Colima on 17 November 2016. Image from the Webcams de México Colima webcam located at the Laguna de Carrizalillos in Comala, about 25 km SW of the summit.

During 26-28 November 2016, a brief episode of ash emissions sent plumes to 4.9-5.5 km altitude that drifted W, N, and NE as far as 75 km before dissipating. Observations of Colima made on 5 December by UEPCC during a helicopter overflight indicated that the lava flow on the S flank was slowing its advance, and had reached about 1,700 m in length (figure 129).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 129. The lava flow on the S flank of Colima had reached 1.7 km in length on 5 December 2016. Courtesy of UEPCC.

A new series of strong explosions with abundant ash emissions began on 7 December that continued through the end of the month. Multiple daily ash emissions appeared in both the webcam and satellite imagery. The plume on 8 December rose to 7.3 km and extended about 185 km NE of the summit near Lago de Chapala before dissipating. Incandescence during the explosions was visible at night, and glowing blocks were common on the upper flanks.

Ash clouds from multiple emissions were observed drifting W to WSW on 14 December at altitudes from 6.1 to 7.9 km (about 4 km above the summit). These plumes were visible 370 km WSW of the summit the next day. Plumes rose as high as 9.1 km altitude on 15 December, and spread N and NW. A series of strong, multiple daily explosions during 16-18 December included some of the strongest explosions since July 2015 (figure 130). Many of the multiple daily explosions during 19-31 December had plumes rising over 7 km in altitude and drifting over 100 km from the summit before dissipating. MODVOLC thermal alerts appeared on 13 days during December 2016.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 130. A strong explosion at Colima on 18 December 2016. Image from the Webcams de México Colima webcam located at the Laguna de Carrizalillos in Comala, about 25 km SW of the summit.

Frequent strong explosive activity continued during January 2017. For the first three weeks of the month, the multiple daily plumes rose to altitudes of 4.6-7.6 km, drifting in multiple directions, some as far as 135 km. The UEPCC reported that at 0027 on 18 January a moderate-to-large explosion ejected incandescent material as far as 2 km onto the W, SW, SE, and N flanks. Based on webcam and satellite images, the México City MWO, and pilot observations, the Washington VAAC reported that during 18-24 January ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.1-6.7 km and drifted in multiple directions. On 19 January, strong explosions were recorded by the webcam and noted by the Jalisco Civil Protection Agency (figure 131); they also reported ashfall in Comala and Cuauhtémoc. A strong thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images. Remnant ash clouds from the explosions were centered about 350 km SE on 20 January. A large ash plume rose to an altitude of 10.7 km on 23 January and drifted NE; several plumes that rose to over 7 km altitude were reported through the end of January. MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued on 11 days during January, but no further alerts appeared through June 2017.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 131. Eruption at Colima at 0431 on 19 January 2017. Courtesy of Sergio Tapiro.

The CUEIV-UdC reported that a large explosion at 1732 on 3 February 2017 generated an ash plume that rose 6 km above the crater rim and drifted SSW (figure 132). The Washington VAAC reported the plume at 7.6 km altitude (3.7 km above the crater) shortly before midnight on 4 February. The CUEIV-UdC also noted that a small pyroclastic flow traveled down the E flank. Their report stated that the internal crater was about 250 m in diameter and 50-60 m deep; previous lava domes had been destroyed in late September and mid-November 2016.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 132. An explosion at Colima on 3 February 2017 caused an ash plume that the Universidad de Colima reported as rising to six km above the crater, drifting SSW. A small pyroclastic flow descended the E flank. Image from the Webcams de México Colima webcam located at the Laguna de Carrizalillos in Comala, about 25 km SW of the summit.

A brief period of low-intensity explosions during 10-16 February 2017 generated ash plumes reported by the Washington VAAC at 4-5.2 km altitude. There were no further aviation alerts issued during February. According to CUEIV-UdC, a few low-intensity explosions occurred during 3-16 March. The ash plume on 7 March rose about 2 km above the crater and drifted SW. During an overflight in the middle of March, researchers from CUEIV-UdC noted degassing from small explosion craters on the floor of the main crater; there was no evidence of effusive activity or growth of a new dome. After the middle of March, seismicity steadily decreased; CUEIV-UdC reported landslides every week through June, but no additional ash emissions were reported.

The MIROVA radiative power plot of the MODIS thermal anomaly data clearly shows the thermal activity at Colima during September 2016-February 2017 (figure 133).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 133. MIROVA log radiative power data from MODIS thermal anomaly satellite information clearly shows the strong thermal anomalies from the lava flows at Colima during September 2016-February 2017. The thermal anomalies shown in black after February 2017 are not located on the edifice and are not related to volcanic activity. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Geologic Background. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the high point of the complex) on the north and the historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of late-Pleistocene cinder cones is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, producing thick debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions have destroyed the summit (most recently in 1913) and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.

Information Contacts: Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil de Colima (UEPCC), Roberto Esperón 1170 Col. de los Trabajadores, C.P. 28020 (URL: http://www.proteccioncivil.col.gob.mx/); Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia (CUEIV-UdC), Universidad de Colima, Colima, Col. 28045, México; Centro Universitario de Estudios Vulcanologicos y Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de Colima, Avenida Universidad 333, Colima, Col., 28045 México (URL: http://portal.ucol.mx/cueiv/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Webcams de México (URL: http://www.webcamsdemexico.com/); Tom Pfeiffer, Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/); SkyAlert, Twitter (@SkyAlertMx) (URL: https://twitter.com/SkyAlertMx/status/705188862318882816); Sergio Tapiro, Twitter (@tapirofoto); Noticieros Televisa (URL: http://noticeros.televisa.com).


Ebeko (Russia) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

50.686°N, 156.014°E; summit elev. 1103 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New eruption with ash explosions began on 20 October 2016; ongoing through May 2017

Following explosions that produced ash plumes in early July 2010 (BGVN 36:07), no additional activity was noted from Ebeko by the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) until October 2016. This rather remote volcano on the N end of Paramushir Island in the Kuril Islands (figure 6) contains many craters, lakes, and thermal features (figure 7). Ash plumes were observed on 20 October 2016 and continued to be detected intermittently through 19 April 2017 (table 4).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Satellite imagery from Google Earth showing the location of Ebeko volcano on the N end of Paramushir Island, Kuril Islands. The village and seaport of Severo-Kurilsk, the largest populated center on the island, is about 7 km E. Courtesy of Google Earth; specific sources of data are shown on the image.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Sketch map showing features in the crater area of Ebeko volcano. (1) thermal fields in pink, (2) fumaroles, (3) pots of thermal water, (4) crater lakes in blue, (5) rims of major craters. Roman numerals denote thermal fields: (I) Active Funnel (in the North Crater), (II) South Crater, (III) West Field, (IV) Northeastern Field, (V) Gremuchaya fumarole field, (VI) Florenskii fumarole field, (VII) First Eastern Field, (VIII) Second Eastern Field, (IX) Southeastern Field, (X) Lagernyi Brook field, (XI) Second Southeastern Field, (XII) Third Southeastern Field. From Rychagov and others, 2010.

Table 4. Summary of activity at Ebeko volcano from mid-October 2016 to mid-April 2017. ACC is Aviation Color Code. Data courtesy of KVERT.

Date Plume Altitude Plume Distance Plume Direction Other Observations
20 Oct 2016 1.5 km; 1.3-1.4 km 15 km; 10 km ENE; NE ACC raised to Yellow.
24 Oct 2016 -- -- -- ACC lowered to Green.
08-09 Dec 2016 1.5 km 6 km N ACC raised to Yellow.
09-10 Dec 2016 1.8-1.9 km 4-5 km NW Minor amounts of ash from two vents, in Sredniy Crater (middle) and Severny Crater (northern).
17, 20 Dec 2016 1.5 km 8 km N, NE --
24-27 Dec 2016 2-2.5 km -- -- Ash plumes; ACC raised to Orange on 27 Dec.
30 Dec 2016-06 Jan 2017 -- -- -- Gas and steam plumes, minor ash.
12 Jan 2017 -- -- -- ACC lowered to Yellow.
19 Jan 2017 2 km 3 km SW ACC raised to Orange.
20 Jan-03 Feb 2017 -- -- -- Minor ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 30 Jan.
10 Feb 2017 -- -- -- Activity declined; ACC lowered to Yellow.
27 Feb 2017 2 km 6 km N ACC raised to Orange.
24, 26, 27 Feb 2017; 02 Mar 2017 up to 2.5 km -- -- Explosions.
03-10 Mar 2017 1.6 km -- -- 15 explosions.
20-22 Mar 2017 1.7-1.8 km -- -- Several explosions; minor ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 21 Mar.
24-31 Mar 2017 1.5-3.4 km -- -- Several daily explosions; minor ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 26 Mar.
04-06 Apr 2017 4 km -- -- Several explosions; minor ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 6 Apr.
07-14 Apr 2017 2.6 km -- -- Several explosions; minor ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 12 Apr.
14, 16, 19 Apr 2017 3.2 km -- -- Several explosions; minor ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 18 Apr; ACC remained at Orange.

According to observers about 7 km E in the city of Severo-Kurilsk, a gas-and-steam plume containing a small amount of ash rose from Ebeko on 20 October 2016 (figure 8), marking the start of its most recent eruption. The Aviation Color Code (ACC) was raised from Green to Yellow. Later that day observers noted gas, steam, and ash plumes rising from the volcano. Ground-based and satellite observations during 21-23 October indicated quiet conditions; consequently, the ACC was lowered to Green on 24 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Ash explosions from Ebeko at 2245 UTC on 19 October 2016 were photographed from Severo-Kurilsk, 7 km E of the volcano. Photo by T. Kotenko; courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.

On 8-9 December 2016 the ACC was again raised to Yellow when a gas and steam plume containing a small amount of ash was observed. Ash rose from both Sredniy Crater (middle) and Severny Crater (northern) during 9-10 December (figure 9). Further ash plumes were seen during 17-27 December the ACC was raised to Orange. Minor ash was reported during 30 December 2016-6 January 2017, along with gas and steam plumes. An ash plume rose up to 2 km altitude on 19 January (figure 10), and ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk on 30 January. More frequent explosions took place between 24 February and 19 April 2017 (table 4). Simultaneous explosions from two craters was observed on 15 April (figure 11).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Explosive ash eruption from the Ebeko craters at 0116 UTC on 10 December 2016. Photo by L. Kotenko; courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Ash from an explosive eruption of Ebeko on 19 January 2017 rose up to 2 km altitude. Photo by T. Kotenko; courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Explosions at Ebeko generated ash plumes simultaneously from the active Severny (northern) and Sredniy (middle) craters on 15 April 2017. Photo by T. Kotenko; courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.

Satellite thermal data from MODVOLC showed no thermal alerts for at least the last 10 years, and MIROVA only identified two low-power anomalies in the past year, one in late February 2017 and the other in late March 2017.

Reference: Rychagov S.N., Belousov V.I., Kotenko ?.A., and Kotenko L.V., 2010, Gas-hydrothermal system of the geothermal deposit, Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2010 Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010, 4 p.

Geologic Background. The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/).


Karymsky (Russia) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Karymsky

Russia

54.049°N, 159.443°E; summit elev. 1513 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Persistent ash plumes and thermal anomalies January 2015-March 2016; short-lived explosions with ash, 5-8 October 2016

Karymsky volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula has a lengthy eruptive history based on both radiocarbon data (back to about 6600 BCE) and historical observations (back to 1771). Much of the volcanic cone is surrounded by lava flows less than 200 years old. The most recent activity, consisting of frequent ash explosions and a few lava flows deposited on the flanks, has been ongoing for several decades. The most recent previous report described numerous ash explosions, persistent thermal anomalies, and moderate seismic activity through 2014 (BGVN 40:09). This report covers similar activity from January 2015 through May 2017. Information was compiled from the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and several sources of satellite data.

Ash-bearing explosions and thermal anomalies characterized activity throughout 2015, beginning with an explosion on 19 January. Ash plumes were common through early March 2016, after which only steam-and-gas emissions and occasional thermal anomalies were noted, although fresh ash deposits were observed near the volcano in the second half of March. A brief episode of explosive activity during 5-8 October 2016 produced low-level ash plumes that drifted for hundreds of kilometers. No additional activity was reported through May 2017.

Activity during 2015. An explosive event at Karymsky on 19 January 2015 signaled a return to activity after a few months of quiet. The ash plume from the explosion extended 50 km SE, and the NASA Earth Observatory captured a satellite image showing trace ash deposits from the event trending SE across the snow-covered landscape (figure 34). Ashfall deposits were seen on 1 March (10-15 km E and SE) and 7 March.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. A streak of dark ash extends SE from Karymsky's summit amidst a backdrop of snow on 18 January 2015 (UTC). The Operational Land Imager (OLI) aboard the Landsat 8 satellite acquired this natural color satellite image. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

Throughout the year, KVERT reported multiple thermal anomalies and ash plumes each month (table 8). The Tokyo VAAC issued 192 aviation alerts during the year, and the MODVOLC system reported eight thermal alerts in January, one in July, and two in August. Ash plume altitudes ranged from 2.1 to 7 km. Continuous ash emissions were noted during 16 and 29-30 July. The ash plume observed in satellite data on 17 July was 8 km long and 5 km wide. Volcanologists observed multiple explosions during 21-22 July, and helicopter pilots in the area reported explosions on 28 July that then lasted for several days (figure 35). Large plumes were also noted during December; on 22 December one was 8 km long and 6 km wide, and on 25 December one was 56 km long and 6 km wide. The highest altitude plumes were reported at 7 km drifting N on 16 and 20 November 2015 by the Tokyo VAAC. Ash plumes drifted in various directions, and were observed as far as 250 km before dissipating.

Table 8. Summary by month of ash plumes and thermal anomalies reported for Karymsky during 2015. Details include dates of thermal anomalies and ash plumes, maximum plume altitude in kilometers, distance in kilometers of ash plume drift, and direction of drift. Multiple thermal anomalies on a given date are shown in parentheses- 23(4)-after the date. 'Date: 7/8' means time zone boundaries presented different reported days for Kamchatka time (KST) and Universal Time (UTC). Sources are KVERT and Tokyo VAAC for ash plume data; KVERT and MODVOLC for thermal data.

Month Thermal Anomalies (KVERT) Thermal Anomalies (MODVOLC) Ash Plumes Plume Altitude (km) Plume Distance (km) Plume Directions
Jan 2015 11, 18-31 19, 22(2), 23(4), 26 19-23, 27, 31 2.5-5 65-160 ESE, E, N
Feb 2015 6, 21, 24 -- 23, 27 2.7 254, 215 ENE
Mar 2015 7, 24-26, 29 -- 22, 24-26, 27, 29-30 2.1 154, 150 E, NE, SW
Apr 2015 9, 16-17, 23 -- 3, 23, 27 2.7-3.0 85, 35, 140 SE, SE, NE
May 2015 4-6, 15-16, 30 -- 16/17, 23 -- 27, 45 W, SE
Jun 2015 6, 8-10 -- 8-10 4.3 50 SE, E
Jul 2015 6, 13-14, 16, 17, 25, 27-30 13 1, 9, 13, 17, 21-22, 25, 27-30 2-5.1 50-115 SW, S, E, NW, SE
Aug 2015 2, 6, 15, 18-21, 24-25 19, 24 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 18, 21, 24, 25 4.3-5.8 25-54 N, W, SW, SE
Sep 2015 2, 10, 14-18, 24 -- 8, 10, 20 4.3-4.6 10 SE, NE
Oct 2015 4, 8, 11, 20, 22-24, 28 -- 3-5, 8, 17-20, 22 2.1-4.6 50, 100 SE, E
Nov 2015 20, 27 -- 1/2, 4, 7/8, 10-12, 15-18, 20-21, 30 2.5-7.0 40-160 NE, SE, E, ESE
Dec 2015 3, 6-7, 14, 23-25, 27-28, 31 -- 11, 19, 22, 25, 28 3.7-5.5 145 E, NE, NW, W, ENE
Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. Ash plume from an explosion at Karymsky on 30 July 2015. Photo by E. Kalacheva, IVS FEB RAS, courtesy of KVERT.

Activity during January 2016-April 2017. Activity was variable at Karymsky during 2016 (table 9). The Tokyo VAAC issued 132 aviation notices. Ash plumes and thermal anomalies were most frequent during January and February, with over twenty instances of each during February. The plume heights during February exceeded 6 km altitude four times, with the highest plume of the year on 20 February at 7.6 km altitude. Near-continuous ash emissions during the last week of February resulted in satellite observations of ash deposits around the volcano at the end of the month and during the first few days of March (figure 36). Activity decreased significantly during March, although KVERT noted fresh ash deposits again during 18-25 March. Except for thermal anomalies noted on 1 and 6 April, only steam-and-gas emissions were reported; KVERT lowered the Aviation Alert Level from Orange to Yellow (on a four-color scale) at the end of the month. From May to July, KVERT reported a thermal anomaly once each month. Steam-and-gas emissions were the only activity reported in August, and on 2 September, they lowered the Alert Level from Yellow to Green.

Table 9. Summary by month of ash plumes and thermal anomalies reported for Karymsky during 2016. Details include dates of thermal anomalies and ash plumes, maximum plume altitude in kilometers, distance in kilometers of ash plume drift, and direction of drift. Sources are KVERT and Tokyo VAAC for ash plume data; KVERT and MODVOLC for thermal data.

Month Thermal Anomalies (KVERT) Thermal Anomalies (MODVOLC) Ash Plumes Plume Altitude (km) Plume Distance (km) Plume Directions
Jan 2016 1, 3-4, 6-7, 11-15, 18-19, 21, 23, 26, 31 -- 3, 5-7, 9, 10, 12-15, 17, 21, 24, 26-28, 31 3.9-7.6 160-270 E, NW, SE
Feb 2016 1-19, 22, 26-29 5 1-21, 26 3.4-7.6 125-270 E, SE, W
Mar 2016 1-4 -- 1 5.2 -- NE
Apr 2016 1, 6 -- -- -- -- --
May 2016 26 -- -- -- -- --
Jun 2016 25 -- -- -- -- --
Jul 2016 4 -- -- -- -- --
Aug 2016 -- -- -- -- -- --
Sep 2016 -- -- -- -- -- --
Oct 2016 7, 12, 17 -- 5-8 2.4 390 E, SE
Nov 2016 3 -- -- -- -- --
Dec 2016 -- -- -- -- -- --
Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. Steam plume from Karymsky on 21 February 2016, and abundant fresh ashfall around the volcano from recent ash emissions. Photo by E. Nenasheva, courtesy of KVERT.

After six months of quiet, the Tokyo VAAC reported an ash plume on 5 (UTC)/6 (KST) October at 2.4 km altitude extending SE. Aviation alerts were issued through 8 October 2016. Although residing at a fairly low altitude (2.4 km), the plume observed in satellite imagery during 7-8 October was visible in satellite imagery drifting 390 km E and SE before dissipating. KVERT briefly raised the Alert Level to Yellow and then to Orange on 7 and 8 October, and then back to Yellow on 19 October. Three weak thermal anomalies appeared in October and one in November; KVERT lowered the Alert Level to Green on 25 November. Karymsky remained at Alert Level Green through May 2017 with no further reports issued from KVERT or the Tokyo VAAC.

Geologic Background. Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south. The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).


Kilauea (United States) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Kilauea

United States

19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New flow from Pu'u 'O'o reaches the sea on 26 July; Kamokuna delta collapses on 31 December 2016

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues the long-term eruptive activity that began in 1983 with lava flows from the East Rift Zone (ERZ) and a convecting lava lake inside Halema'uma'u crater. The US Geological Survey's (USGS) Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) has been monitoring and researching the volcano for over a century since its founding in 1912. HVO provided quarterly reports of activity for July-December 2016, which are summarized below.

Summary of July-December 2016 activity. Activity at Kilauea during the second half of 2016 was consistent with long-term trends of summit inflation punctuated by DI (Deflation-Inflation) events and a slowly rising average lava lake level inside Halema?uma?u crater. Two explosive events prompted by rockfalls into the lake sent spatter high enough to reach the Halema?uma?u rim; a small overflow at the crater occurred in October, the first since April-May 2015.

Pu'u 'O'o activity continued with little change except for the steady advance of the episode 61g lava flow towards the coast. The pahoehoe front reached the Emergency Access Road near the coast on 25 July and cascaded slowly over the seacliff into the ocean on 26 July just after midnight. It was the first time since August 2013 that lava from Pu'u 'O'o entered the sea. A growing lava delta of about 10 hectares (25 acres) at the Kamokuna entry was the focus of attention by visitors until most of it collapsed into the sea on 31 December 2016.

Activity at Halema'uma'u. Eruptive activity at Halema'uma'u crater was typical during July-December 2016, with a slightly elevated lake level for the last quarter of the year. The lava lake circulation pattern continued in the usual N-S direction, with occasional shifts due to short-lived spattering in areas other than the normal Southeast sink. The lake level rose and fell in concert with the regular summit DI events. On 7 September, the lake level rose to the level of the old rim prior to the April/May 2015 crater overflow, 8 m below the current rim (figure 267).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 267. Halema'uma'u lava lake at Kilauea on 7 September 2016 at 1842 HST when the surface level was at the level of the old crater rim, 8 m below the current rim. Photo by M. Patrick, courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for July-September 2016).

The lowest lake level of the period was 55 m below the floor of Halema'uma'u on 6 October; the lake reached its highest level when it overflowed the rim on 15 October. This was the highest lake level since the overflows in late April to early May 2015, and it covered a small area of about 5,000 m² of the Halema'uma'u crater floor. The latest overflows consisted of two small lobes that spilled onto the crater floor on the SE and NW sides of the lake (figure 268).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 268. Aerial photo of Halema'uma'u crater and lava lake at Kilauea, looking south, showing the two areas where the lake overflowed onto the crater floor on 15 October 2016. The first overflow is on the upper-left side of the lake; the later overflow at is at the lower right side. Photo by T. Orr, 3 November 2016, courtesy of HVO (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for October-December 2016).

The lava lake surface or spatter from the lake was visible intermittently from the Jaggar Overlook on the NW rim of the caldera. During a few of the deflation phases of the DI events, newly exposed juvenile veneer on the crater walls detached and collapsed into the lake. Many of these collapses were too small to notice on the webcams or produce seismic events, but several events were noteworthy.

On 6 August there was a large collapse at the base of the Halema'uma'u crater wall (above the Southeast sink). The collapse produced a large explosive event, along with a composite seismic event, and vigorous spattering. The main explosive deposit blanketed the rim just east of the closed overlook, with tephra forming a continuous layer up to 20 cm thick. Bombs were deposited over an area 220 m wide (along the rim) and up to 90 m beyond the crater rim, with sparse lapilli thrown across the parking lot. HVO monitoring equipment and some of the remaining wooden fencing for the overlook were burned.

A second explosive event occurred on 19 September, also triggered by a collapse of the crater wall above the Southeast sink. Bombs and smaller scoria reached the Halema'uma'u crater rim and ash was deposited across the parking area and road. Large events also occurred on 4 October around 1100, and again at around noon. The first triggered a composite seismic event and spattering when veneer on the E wall fell into the lake, and the other triggered brief spattering when a large sheet of veneer fell from the SW wall. On 19 and 20 October, explosive events were triggered by rockfalls below the overlook (figure 269). The first, at 0745, deposited spatter and ribbon bombs up to 30 cm long on the rim of Halema'uma'u, and produced muted composite seismicity. The 20 October event occurred at 1225, producing a tephra deposit that extended across the road past the parking lot, and generated weak composite seismicity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 269. Bombs and spatter from Halema'uma'u crater at Kilauea during October and November 2016. Left: the 20 October explosive event from the HMcam (a webcam on the SE rim of the crater) taken at 1226, showing spatter bombarding the overlook, after the collapse of the crater wall below the webcam. Right: a large bomb thrown from the lava lake during the 28 November explosive event. The fluidity of the spatter allowed it to splat upon impact. Photo by M. Patrick, 28 November 2016, courtesy of HVO (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for October-December 2016).

At 1159 on 28 November, another slice of crater wall below the HMcam (one of two Halema'uma'u webcams) fell and triggered an explosive event that again threw tephra onto the rim. The tephra deposit was sparse and confined to a narrow area 90-100 m wide along the rim between the two webcams on the SE rim. While most of the spatter bombs were less than 30 cm in size, the largest was about 160 cm long. The clasts were relatively fluidal in texture and most splatted upon impact (figure 269). The power and Ethernet cables for one of the webcams were damaged during this event. A similar event occurred on 2 December at 0658, when a large slab from the overlook crater wall directly below one of the webcams collapsed. This also triggered a small explosive event which bombarded the rim with spatter near the two cameras, and produced rare ribbon bombs close to a meter long. Another large veneer collapse occurred on 13 December at about 1355, when a slab fell from the N wall into the lake and triggered spattering.

Activity at Pu'u 'O'o and the East Rift Zone. There were few notable changes at Pu'u 'O'o cone from July through December. Very slight uplift was observed during 2-4 July that may have corresponded to inflationary tilt. The forked lava stream in the vent on the NE spillway was visible on a 15 July overflight. Subsequent overflights found the streams progressively more crusted over, and no lava was visible in the vent on the 19 August overflight. The W pit had a large collapse of its NE rim that was noticed on 1 September. A few meters had shaved off the rim of the pit, making a pile of rubble on the pit floor.

One of the two vents on the NE spillway re-opened at some point during the day on 2 November. Fieldwork on 3 November showed that the W-pit lava pond was 52 m across and 22 m below the pit rim, at an elevation of 848 m. The pond level was at 847 m when seen again on 29 November, with weak spattering at a few places around the pond perimeter.

The new flow (episode 61g), which began from the NE flank of Pu'u 'O'o cone on 24 May 2016, had reached the top of Pulama pali (cliff) on 28 June 2016 (BGVN 41:08, figure 263). It reached the base of the pali on the last day of June, and began to advance quickly across the coastal plain (figure 270). It was initially quite narrow, about 100 m across, possibly because of the flow high advance rate and confining topography in the area, according to HVO. The flow had slowed by 5 July; it was half way across the coastal plain, with the leading tip about 1.7 km from both the base of the pali and the ocean, and 1.6 km from the closest portion of the FEMA evacuation road that runs along the coast.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 270. Episode 61g lava flow at Kilauea leaves the base of Pulama pali headed across the coastal plain on 2 July 2016. Several channelized 'a'a flows are visible coming down the slope. Location is at the eastern boundary of the National Park and western boundary of the Royal Gardens subdivision. Photo by Kirsten Stephens, courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for July-September 2016).

The flow front continued to advance slowly over the next few weeks and eventually stalled in mid-July. The stalled front was soon overtaken, however, by breakouts that had been steadily advancing downslope behind the front. These breakouts formed a new front that continued to advance rapidly at up to 170 m/day. By 24 July, the flow front had reached to within about 260 m of the FEMA emergency access road. The next day (25 July) at 1520 HST, the 61g flow crossed the FEMA road (figure 271), and at 0112 HST on 26 July lava spilled over the sea cliff and into the water, marking the start of the rapid growth of the Kamokuna ocean entry.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 271. Episode 61g lava flow of Kilauea crosses the FEMA emergency access road. Left: the lava flow on 25 July 2016 at 1616 HST about 30 minutes after it crossed the road in a thin sheet, photo by L. DeSmither. Right: on 5 August (almost two weeks later), in the same general location as the first, note the amount of flow inflation (HVO geologist for scale), photo by M. Patrick. Both images courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for July-September 2016).

The flow field continued to widen over the next few months, as scattered breakouts crept down the flow (figure 272). One of these breakouts formed a second ocean entry point several hundred meters to the W of the initial entry. Other, smaller breakouts reached the ocean along the stretch of land between the two main entry points, forming short-lived entries (figure 273). Persistent breakouts near the base of the Pulama pali began to build a ramp, making the pali less steep.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 272. A breakout from the episode 61g flow on the coastal plain of Kilauea on 20 September 2016. Burning vegetation on the pali from the recent flow is visible in the background. Photo by Matt Patrick, courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for July-September 2016).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 273. Lava flows into the sea at Kilauea from one of the entry points along the Kamokuna ocean entry, as viewed from the sea, on 11 September 2016. Photo by Tom Pfeiffer, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

Numerous small delta collapses on both the E and W deltas were reported during August and September, but the deltas overall continued to grow. By the end of September the E delta was about 5.2 hectares (12.9 acres), and had developed several large coast-parallel cracks that suggested it was becoming unstable (figure 274). Activity at the W delta was always subordinate to that at the E delta and was abandoned in late September, having reached about 2.6 ha in size.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 274. The E lava delta at the Kamokuna ocean entry at Kilauea on 30 September 2016. Top: the E Kamokuna ocean entry and lava delta, showing large cracks parallel to the sea cliff. Photo by T. Orr. Bottom: thermal image of the delta showing heat in the cracks, and hot water plumes extending out from the ocean entry points. Courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for July-September 2016).

The only surface activity not on the lower half of the flow field (from the top of the pali to the coast) during July-September was a large breakout from the episode 61g vent on the east flank of Pu'u 'O'o cone that started 29 August. The breakout was active for only a few days and died during the first week of September. On 27 September a skylight abruptly opened a few hundred meters inland from the ocean entry, producing a strong glow at night. Very little surface activity was present on the coastal plain near the Kamokuna ocean entry during October-December. A small breakout started about a kilometer upslope from the park rope line on 24 November, and remained active until the evening of 28 November.

However, breakouts did continue near the Pulama pali during October-December, further building up the intermediate-sloped ramp at the base of the pali (figure 275). The first of these started on 1 October and continued until at least 23 October, having extended a short distance beyond the base of the pali. A breakout started near the bottom of the steepest part of the pali during 22-23 November, producing short-lived channelized flows. The breakout remained active until at least 30 November, but was apparently inactive by 6 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 275. Episode 61g eruption of Kilauea on 13 November 2016, captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite. The lava first reached the ocean on 26 July, and most of the lava delta created at the Kamokuna entry collapsed into the sea on 31 December 2016. The gray areas in the image show lava that has accumulated since 1983. The 2016 active flow started at a vent just east of the Pu'u 'O'o crater. It moved SE and S through lava tubes below the surface. The signature of a recent surface breakout is the lighter gray area at the base of the Pulama pali (cliff). Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

At the episode 61g vent near Pu'u 'O'o cone, a new breakout started between 0830 and 0840 on 21 November 2016. The ground surface over and just upslope from the vent was fractured and uplifted 3-4 m. The breakout consisted of two branches, one of which generally headed S and was short lived, stagnating during the day of 26 November. The other flowed NE and surrounded the nearby Pu?u Halulu cone before turning to the SE. The flow front of this second branch was about 2 km from the vent when mapped on 17 December (figure 276), but continued to advance through the end of the year. In addition to the 21 November breakout, other short-lived breakouts from the episode 61g vent were active during 1-3 December, 11-12 December, and 25-28 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 276. Changes to the flow field of the episode 61g flow between 20 September and 25 December 2016. Courtesy of HVO (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for October-December 2016).

During an overflight on 3 November, HVO found that the W delta, which became inactive in late September, was approximately 2 ha after losing about 0.6 ha to wave erosion. The E delta at the Kamokuna ocean entry remained very active through December, reaching a relatively stable size of around 10 ha, kept in check by frequent small collapses. Large cracks on the delta parallel to the old sea cliff were apparent, and the delta on the seaward side of the cracks appeared to be tilted, indicating instability. The delta was about 9 ha in size in late December.

During mid-afternoon on 31 December 2016, the E delta began to collapse in pieces. Over the course of a few hours, most of the delta had disappeared into the water, leaving about 1 ha as narrow remnant ledges at the base of the sea cliff (figures 277 and 278). In addition to the delta collapse, roughly 1.6 ha of the older, post-1986 sea cliff also fell into the ocean, likely due to undercutting promoted by the delta collapse. This portion of the old sea cliff was partially above the E edge of the delta, but most of it was adjacent to the delta to the east (figure 278), and included part of the National Park viewing area. The sea cliff collapses produced thick, dusty plumes and large waves that splashed back onto the sea cliff, in some instances. In the days that followed, a few more small slices of unstable sea cliff collapsed into the water. The total area that collapsed, including the delta and the older sea cliff, was approximately 10 ha.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 277. Eastern Kamokuna lava delta (episode 61g flow) at Kilauea, before and after the 31 December 2016 collapse. Left: The delta on 14 October when it was about 6 ha (15 acres) in size. Photo by L. DeSmither. Right: After the 31 December collapse, showing remnants of the delta. Photo by M. Patrick on 1 January 2017. Courtesy of HVO (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for October-December 2016).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 278. Map of the Kamokuna ocean entry at Kilauea as of 3 January 2017, showing areas of collapse, remaining delta, and other features. Courtesy of HVO (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Quarterly Report for October-December 2016).

Thermal anomaly data. Satellite-based thermal anomaly data from the MODIS instrument generates a strong continuous signal from Kilauea that closely follows the distribution of the active lava flows. As the episode 61g flow emerged from Pu'u 'O'o and headed SE, the thermal signature was strong between Pu'u 'O'o and the Pulama pali during the last week of June as recorded by the University of Hawaii's MODVOLC thermal alert system. By mid-August, a few weeks after the flow had reached the sea, the thermal activity extended from the pali to the Kamokuna ocean entry site (figure 279).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 279. Thermal alerts from MODVOLC at Kilauea during late June and August 2016. Pu'u 'O'o is beneath the pixel in the upper left of the top image. Top: Alerts during 26 June-1 July 2016. The Pulama pali shows as the shaded area underneath the leading SE edge of the flow. Bottom: Alerts during 12-19 August 2016. The lava was hottest between the Pulama pali on the N and the new Kamokuna ocean entry at the bottom of the image. Courtesy of HIGP MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System.

New breakouts from the Pulama pali area were recorded as thermal alerts during the second week of November along with the evidence for continued thermal alerts from the Kamokuna delta at the shoreline. At the vent area of episode 61g, near Pu'u 'O'o cone, new breakouts flowed NE of the cone and were captured as thermal alerts during early December (figure 280).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 280. Thermal alerts from MODVOLC at Kilauea during November and December 2016. Top: New breakouts were reported from the Pulama pali area and were visible in the thermal data during 5-11 November along with the thermal alerts from the Kamokuna lava delta at the shoreline. Bottom: Alerts during 10-16 December 2016 show renewed breakout activity at the episode 61g vent near Pu'u 'O'o (upper left of image) as well as continued activity at the Kamokuna ocean entry on the shoreline. Courtesy of HIGP MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System.

Geologic Background. Kilauea, which overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, has been Hawaii's most active volcano during historical time. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation extending back to only 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that were interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity that lasted until 1924 at Halemaumau crater, within the summit caldera. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and SW rift zones, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

Information Contacts: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), U.S. Geological Survey, PO Box 51, Hawai'i National Park, HI 96718, USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Tom Pfeiffer, Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/).


Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Rincon de la Vieja

Costa Rica

10.83°N, 85.324°W; summit elev. 1916 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic explosions disperse material up to 2 km from the active crater in March 2016 and June 2017

The active crater at Costa Rica's Rincón de la Vieja, which contains a 500-m-wide acid lake, has been the site of numerous historic eruptions at this large volcanic complex. Intermittent phreatic explosions since 2011 have dispersed volcanic debris from the crater lake within a few kilometers of the crater rim and into the surrounding streams a number of times. The most recent previous activity included explosions in September and October 2014, and phreatic eruptions on June, August and October 2015 (BGVN 41:01); this report discusses activity during 2016 and through July 2017. Information comes from the Observatorio Vulcanológico Sismológica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA) and the Observatorio Sismológico y Vulcanológico de Arenal-Miravalles (OSIVAM-ICE). The OVISAM-ICE reports are published through the Red Sismológica Nacional (RSN), the National Seismological Network. Ejected material is described in the original reports in various ways that appear to be interchangeable rather than signifying actual content differences, so those distinctions are not reflected below unless ash was specified.

The first evidence of a new episode of phreatic explosions was noted during a site visit on 15 February 2016. Numerous explosions during March spread material as far as 2 km from the crater rim. After an explosion on 1 May 2016 there were no further reports until 23 May 2017, when a series of intermittent explosions again ejected material onto the N and NW flanks and sent plumes of steam-and-gas as high as 2 km above the crater rim. The last reported explosion was on 5 July 2017.

Activity decreased at the end of 2015 after the phreatic explosions of 16-21 October. The number of seismic events increased again during February and March 2016. OVSICORI-UNA scientists observed the first evidence of a new episode of phreatic explosions during a field visit on 15 February 2016 when they noted deposits about 20 m from the crater rim. By the end of March, the RSN had reported 25 explosions. Three of the largest explosions occurred on 9 February, 9 March, and 18 March. They were characterized by episodes of tremor in pulses that usually lasted about five minutes prior to the phreatic explosion, and then changed to continuous tremor for several hours afterwards.

OSIVAM-ICE scientists reported photographic evidence of deposits from a 2 March explosion that covered a wide area on the N flank of the active crater (figure 22). They visited on 3 March 2016 and noted fresh deposits from the phreatic explosions about 200 m W of the crater rim (figure 23). They also witnessed three explosions during the afternoon, the longest lasting for 65 seconds.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Deposits of material ejected from the crater lake on the N edge of Rincón de la Vieja associated with an eruptive event that occurred on 2 March 2016 at 1747 local time. Photo from Fernando Madrigal's Sensoria site, courtesy of RSN (Resumen de la actividad sísmica y eruptive del volcán Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica) 01 de octubre del 2015 al 15 de marzo del 2016).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Deposit of material from the crater lake at Rincón de la Vieja on 3 March 2016, located about 200 m W of the crater rim. Photo by OSIVAM-ICE scientists, courtesy of RSN (Resumen de la actividad sísmica y eruptive del volcán Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica) 01 de octubre del 2015 al 15 de marzo del 2016).

Scientists from OVSICORI-UNA conducted additional site visits during 8 and 10-11 March 2016. On 8 March fresh ash was found about 120 m from the crater rim (figure 24), and a temperature of 55°C was measured remotely for the convection cell in the lake. Based on photographs taken by nearby residents, OVSICORI-UNA scientists estimated that the ash and steam plumes produced by the 9 and 10 March explosions rose 700 and 850 m, respectively, above the crater. Local residents reported to The Tico Times that ash fell on the roofs of their homes within an area up to 6 km around the volcano after the explosion on 9 March, mostly in communities N of the crater (Upala and Buenos Aires).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. The N rim of the active crater at Rincón de la Vieja on 8 March 2016 is marked with the outline (white dashes) showing the extent of material ejected during recent explosions. The arrow at the top shows the dominant wind direction. Inset on left shows riverbed deposits of recent material on 8 March, and the right inset images show the plumes from the 9 (upper) and 10 (lower) March explosions. Right inset photos by Jorge Viales, courtesy of OVSICORI (Erupciones del volcán Rincón de la Vieja: Observaciones de Campo).

The character of the deposits changed between February and March 2016, according to a report by OVSICORI scientists. The samples collected in February were rich in elemental sulfur, abundant in the crater lake and in the near-surface sediments. Studies of the March samples showed the presence of clasts of altered rocks, hydrothermal minerals, and elemental sulfur as well as 3-10% fresh glass.

During their summit visit on 10 and 11 March 2016, OVSICORI scientists noted a coating of white sediment, up to 5 mm thick in some places, covering the ground and the vegetation in a 400m-wide area to the SSW of the active crater (figure 25). Deposits extended as far as 2 km away, and coated the flanks of both the active crater and the nearby Von Seeback crater (figure 26).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Material from phreatic explosions cover a Copey shrub at Rincón de la Vieja on 10 March 2016. The plant was located 1.5 km SSW from the active crater. Photo by E. Duarte, courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA (Visita al Volcán Rincón de la Vieja: Mapeo de Efecto y Características de Erupciones Freáticas Recientes).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. A view to the ESE on 10 March 2016 from the flank of the Von Seeback crater towards the active crater showing the coating of white sediments from the recent phreatic explosions at Rincón de la Vieja. The arrow points roughly NW showing the direction of sediment dispersal. Material was sampled at site 4 (white circle). Photo by E. Duarte, courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA (Visita al Volcán Rincón de la Vieja: Mapeo de Efecto y Características de Erupciones Freáticas Recientes).

A 15 March explosion generated a 700-m-high plume of water vapor and gas, according to an announcement from OVSICORI-UNA. They also reported an explosion on 1 May 2016 detected for 11 minutes by the seismic network. No further reports were made until May 2017.

A small lahar traveled down the N flank of the crater after an explosion on 23 May 2017. Explosions on 11 and 12 June were recorded seismically, but cloudy weather obscured visual observations. The Washington VAAC, however, noted a hotspot in the infrared satellite data on 11 June 2017 about 30 minutes before the explosion was reported. A diffuse steam plume was observed from Dos Rios de Upala rising about 50 m above the summit on 15 June, and a small phreatic explosion was recorded on 18 June 2017. A larger explosion on 23 June sent a plume 1-2 km above the summit, and ejected material to the W and NW onto the upper N flank toward the Von Seebach crater 2 km to the W. Small phreatic explosions on 5 July ejected material that did not rise above the crater rim.

Geologic Background. Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge that was constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of 1916-m-high Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanológico Sismológica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/); Observatorio Sismológico y Vulcanológico Arenal-Miravalles del Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (OSIVAM-ICE), Sección de Sismología, Vulcanología y Exploración Geofísica, Escuela Centroamericana de Geología, Apdo. 214-2060, San Pedro, Costa Rica (URL: http://rsn.ucr.ac.cr/); The Tico Times (URL: http://www.ticotimes.net/2016/03/10/costa-rica-rincon-de-la-vieja-volcano-vapor-ash-explosions).


Sangay (Ecuador) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

2.005°S, 78.341°W; summit elev. 5286 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash emissions and thermal anomalies, January 2015-July 2017

Ecuador's Sangay, isolated on the east side of the Andean crest, has exhibited frequent eruptive activity over the last 400 years. Its remoteness has made ground observations difficult until recent times, and thus most information has come from aviation reports from the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) and MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite-based data. Thermal anomaly information is reported by the University of Hawaii's MODVOLC system and the Italian MIROVA Volcano HotSpot Detection System. Ecuador's Instituto Geofísico (IG) issues periodic Special Reports of activity. This report summarizes the intermittent nature of the eruptions from 2011-2013, and covers renewed activity during January 2015 through July 2017.

Summary of activity during 2011-2013. Activity during 2011 (figure 17) began with a continuation of the intermittent ash emissions and thermal anomalies that persisted throughout 2010 (BGVN 36:01). Ash plumes during January and February 2011 were reported at typical altitudes between 6 and 8 km; thermal alerts appeared once each during January and March. No activity was reported after 2 March until a new series of thermal alerts began more than 3 months later on 6 June 2011; they were intermittent from then through 19 September 2012, with reports occurring during 1-4 days of all but three months. Ash emissions were also intermittent during this time, with VAAC reports issued during eight of the months from 2 August 2011-28 July 2012 for plumes reported at altitudes of 6-8 km. They also generally occurred during 1-4 days of the month. A four-month break in activity followed until ash plumes were reported on 25 January 2013; they were intermittent until 24 May 2013. MODVOLC thermal anomalies were also reported during this time, on 2 February, 25 March, and 3-4 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Summary chart of ash emissions and thermal anomalies reported from Sangay during January 2010 to early August 2017. Red bars show eruptive periods where there are reports of either ash plumes or thermal anomalies without a lack of observed activity for more than 3 months. Rows with pink cells indicate dates with thermal anomalies (MODVOLC or MIROVA). Rows with blue cells indicate dates with ash emissions as reported by the Washington VAAC. A range of dates means that activity occurred at least on those two dates, but may not have been continuous. Data courtesy of Washington VAAC, HIGP MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, and MIROVA.

Summary of activity during January 2015-July 2017. After 19 months of quiet from June 2013 through December 2014, an ash plume reported on 19 January 2015 marked the beginning of a new eruptive episode that included ash plumes, lava flows, and block avalanches between 19 January and 7 April 2015. The next reported activity included both ash emissions and thermal anomalies observed almost a year later on 25 March 2016, although IG had reported increases in seismicity during the previous two weeks. Ash emissions and thermal anomalies were intermittent through 16 July 2016. There was a single thermal anomaly seen in MIROVA data on about 10 October and a brief ash emission occurred during 16-17 November 2016, after which Sangay was quiet until a new episode started on 20 July 2017 that was ongoing into August.

Activity during January-April 2015. After a 19-month period of no reported activity (since May 2013), ash emissions were again seen beginning on 18 January 2015 when an ash plume rose to 6.4 km altitude and drifted SW. Additional plumes on 25 January and 4 February rose to 7.3 km and 6.7 km, respectively, and drifted less than 20 km SW (figure 18). Ash plumes primarily observed by pilots between 27 February and 16 March were generally not visible in satellite images due to weather clouds. During this episode, MODVOLC thermal alerts were reported on 26 January; 7, 21, 23 and 27 February; 2,4,18, and 27 March; and 1, 3, and 7 April.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Ash emission at Sangay sometime during 19-26 January 2015. The ash plume eventually reached about 2 km above the 5,286-m-high summit crater. Photo by Gustavo Cruz, courtesy of IG (Informe Especial del Volcan Sangay No 1, 16 March 2015).

In a March 2015 report, IG noted that new lava flows and block-avalanche deposits had been emplaced during January and February 2015. The lava flows descended the SE flank about 900 m (figure 19). Two areas of deposits from block avalanches and ashfall extended 2.5 km ESE from the lava front, and 1.5 km down the S flank. According to IG, there were 21 thermal anomalies identified in MIROVA during 31 January-25 February 2015.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Locations of lava flows and block-avalanche deposits at Sangay that were emplaced during January and February 2015. The new lava flows are shown in red. The ash and block-avalanche deposits are shown in stippled yellow/green. Courtesy of IG (Informe Especial del Volcan Sangay No 1, 16 March 2015).

Activity during March-November 2016. IG reported an increase in seismicity on 5 March 2016, after ten months of no reported activity. An explosion signal was followed by harmonic tremor on 9 March, and IG noted that both a thermal anomaly and an emission drifting S were identified in NOAA satellite images. They inferred that increased seismic "explosion" signals on 14 March were indicative of ash-and-gas emissions, although weather clouds prohibited visual confirmation. Ash emissions rising to 6.1 km altitude were first reported by the Guayaquil MWO on 25 March 2016; they noted two more emissions on 27 and 28 March rising to similar altitudes (7.6 and 6.4 km, respectively), but cloudy weather prevented satellite confirmation. Plumes reported on nine days during April rose to similar altitudes (ranging from 5.5-7 km) and extended 18-30 km N or NW from the summit. A series of daily emissions occurred from 30 April-7 May. The emissions included a plume on 2 May that extended 120 km NW, and one on 6 May that rose to 8.2 km altitude and extended approximately 55 km SW before dissipating. Ash-bearing plumes were reported on 10 more days during the rest of May.

Although no more ash plumes were reported until 16 July 2016, MODVOLC thermal alerts were persistent every month beginning on 25 March and lasting through 5 July (see figure 17 above). The MIROVA data for this period also clearly show persistent thermal anomalies (figure 20). A short-lived eruption event during 16-17 November 2016 consisted of an ash emission that rose to 6.1 km altitude and drifted as far as 290 km SE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Thermal anomaly data from MIROVA for the year ending on 18 January 2017 at Sangay, showing the eruptive episode of March-July 2016, and a brief anomaly on about 10 October 2016; late October-November anomalies are more than 20 kilometers from the summit and unrelated to volcanism. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity beginning July 2017. A new eruptive episode began on 20 July 2017, after eight months without major surface activity. Low-energy ash emissions rising to 3 km above the crater, incandescent block avalanches on the ESE flank (figure 21), and a possible new lava flow were reported by IG. The Washington VAAC reported an ash emission on 20 July rising to 8.2 km altitude and drifting about 80 km W. A plume was reported on 1 August by the Guyaquil MWO but obscured by clouds in satellite images, and a plume on 2 August was seen in webcam images (figure 22).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Incandescent blocks roll down the ESE flank of Sangay during the early morning of 1 August 2017. Courtesy of IG (Informe Especial del Volcán Sangay-2017-No 1, 3 August 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Ash emission at Sangay on 2 August 2017, with the plume rising about 400 m above the summit crater drifting SW. Courtesy of IG (Informe Especial del Volcán Sangay-2017-No 1, 3 August 2017).

Geologic Background. The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador's volcanoes and its most active. The steep-sided, glacier-covered, dominantly andesitic volcano grew within horseshoe-shaped calderas of two previous edifices, which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. It towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash have been sculpted by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of a historical eruption was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The almost constant activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico (IG), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/).


Sheveluch (Russia) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

56.653°N, 161.36°E; summit elev. 3283 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lava dome growth continues through July 2017

An eruption at Sheveluch has been ongoing since 1999, and recent activity there was previously described through February 2016 (BGVN 42:03). During March 2016-July 2017, the same type of activity prevailed as before, consisting of lava dome growth, explosions, and pyroclastic flows. The following data comes from Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reports. During this period the Aviation Color Code (ACC) remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale), except for a brief period on 10 December 2016 and brief periods during May-July 2017 when it was Red (highest level).

Activity during March 2016-April 2017. According to KVERT, ongoing activity during March 2016-April 2017 consisted of lava-dome extrusion onto the N flank accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, ash explosions, and hot avalanches. Satellite images detected an intense daily thermal anomaly over the dome.

On 18 September 2016, a moderate explosion caused dome collapse and 10-km-long pyroclastic flows. Pyroclastic-flow deposits were noted in the Baydarnaya (also spelled Baidarnaya) River valley to the SSW and in the central part of the S flank.

Ash plumes generated by explosions and re-suspended ash usually occurred several times per month, and generally reached altitudes of 4.5-7 km. On 10 December 2016, explosions generated ash plumes observed in satellite images that rose to altitudes of 10-11 km and drifted 910 km NNE. The ACC was raised to Red. By the following day, no further ash emissions were observed, and the ACC was lowered back to Orange. However, explosions continued in December that sent ash plumes as high as 7 km altitude (figure 42). Typical activity continued through the first few months of 2017, including ash explosions sending plumes to as high as 5-6 km altitude (figure 43) that remained visible in satellite imagery 100 km downwind.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Explosions from Sheveluch sent ash up to 7 km altitude at 2314 UTC on 19 December 2016. Photo by Yu. Demyanchuk; courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Typical activity from Sheveluch is evident on 16 April 2017, with an ash plume rising to around 4 km altitude. Photo by Yu. Demyanchuk; courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.

Activity during May-July 2017. Beginning In May 2017, explosive activity appeared to intensify. Strong explosions on 12 May 2017 generated ash plumes identified in satellite images that rose to altitudes of 9-10 km, spread 70 km wide, and drifted 115 km NW. The ACC was raised to Red. Pyroclastic flows descended the flanks and produced ash plumes that rose 3.5-4 km and drifted NE. A few hours later, satellite images showed a thermal anomaly but no ash emissions, and the ACC was lowered back to Orange.

According to KVERT, after a series of explosions during 13-14 May (figure 44), powerful explosions on 16 May generated ash plumes that rose 8-11 km in altitude, prompting an increase of the ACC to Red. Pyroclastic flows descended the S flank, producing ash plumes that rose 3.5-4 km in altitude (figure 43) and drifted NE; within a few hours, satellite images did not show any ash emissions; the ACC was lowered to Orange.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Ash plumes rise from explosive activity and pyroclastic flows at Sheveluch on 14 May 2017, seen here to an altitude of about 5 km. Photo by Yu. Demyanchuk; courtesy of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.

Additional explosions occurred 18 May. During 23-25 May 2017 powerful explosions generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 8 km and drifted 715 km in different directions. On 25 May, at 0830, explosions generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 9-10 km and drifted 16 km NE. The ACC was raised briefly to Red. Within the next 90 minutes, the ash plume was identified in satellite images drifting 82 km ENE. Strong steam-and-gas emissions rose from the lava dome. The ACC was lowered back to Orange.

KVERT reported that during the last week of May and first half of June, powerful explosions generated ash plumes that rose 8 km in altitude and drifted 550-1,554 km in various directions. Pyroclastic flows traveled 10 km. Ashfall was reported in Klyuchi Village (50 km SW) on 8 June.

On 15 June, at 0425, powerful explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 12 km altitude (figure 45). The ACC was raised to Red, and then back down to Orange by the end of the day. Ash plumes drifted 1,000 km NE and SW during 15-16 June. Ash fell in Klyuchi (50 km SW), Maiskoe, Kozyrevsk (115 km SW), and Atlasovo (160 km SW).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Photo of an ash cloud from Sheveluch generated by a powerful explosion that began at 1625 UTC on 14 June 2017. Photo by A.V. Voznikov; courtesy of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.

According to KVERT, explosions on 17, 18, and 27 June generated ash plumes that rose as high as 7-10 km altitude and drifted as far as 1,500 km. Explosions on 2 July sent ash plumes to 10-11 km; one plume drifted 1,050 km SW and another drifted 350 km NE. On 23 July, strong explosions generated ash plumes that sailed up to 11-12 km and drifted 1,400 km E. Explosive activity the next day lasted about 8 hours and generated ash plumes that rose 11.5-12 km in altitude and drifted almost 700 km NE and 1,400 km E. Strong pyroclastic flows were also noted. The ACC was raised to Red. Later that day, only steam-and-gas emissions with a small amount of ash was observed, and the ACC was lowered to Orange.

Thermal anomalies. Thermal anomalies based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm were frequent during the current reporting period. From 1 March to 31 August 2016 thermal anomalies were detected 11-20 days each month. The number of days each month with anomalies was lower during 1 September 2016 to 30 July 2017 (except for October with 13 days), ranging from 3 days in April and May 2017 to 10 days in March. Only one hotspot was recorded in July 2017. The MIROVA system detected numerous hotspots every month during August 2016-July 2017, most of which were about 5 km or less from the summit with very low power signatures.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Thermal anomalies at Sheveluch identified on MODIS data by the MIROVA system (log radiative power) for the year ending 4 August 2017. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Geologic Background. The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. The summit of roughly 65,000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes dot its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/).


Tungurahua (Ecuador) — August 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Tungurahua

Ecuador

1.467°S, 78.442°W; summit elev. 5023 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptive episode during April-May 2015, persistent ash emissions and many lahars

Abundant ash emissions, Strombolian activity, pyroclastic flows, lahars, and a few lava flows have all been documented at Tungurahua, which lies in the center of Ecuador. Historical observations are recorded back to 1557, and radiocarbon dates are as old as 7750 BCE. Prior to renewed activity in 1999, the last major eruption had occurred during 1916-1918. Since 1999, there have been numerous eruptive episodes, but only a few with breaks in activity longer than three months. Eight distinct episodes of activity occurred from November 2011 through December 2014 that included 10-km-high ash plumes, Strombolian activity, pyroclastic flows, lahars and a lava flow (BGVN 42:05).

Another eruptive episode during April and May 2015 is described below based on information provided by the Observatorio del Volcán Tungurahua (OVT) of the Instituto Geofísico (IG-EPN) of Ecuador, and aviation alerts from the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Seismic activity increased after a few months of quiet in late February 2015. A new eruptive episode began on 6 April with tremors and ash emissions, which persisted for the next two weeks. Activity tapered off at the end of April. Intermittent ash emissions and ashfall were observed during May. Rainfall led to numerous lahars every month from January through June, many in drainages on the W flank; some were large enough to disrupt travel on local roads.

Activity during January-March 2015. Tungurahua remained quiet during January 2015, although weather conditions prevented visual monitoring for much of the month. Intermittent gas emissions reached 300 m above the crater a few times. Several hundred millimeters of rain during the second week led to numerous lahars on 9 January that descended the Ulba, Vazcún, Juive, Hacienda, Achupashal, Pingullo, Chontapamba, Romero and Rea quebradas (ravines). Most of the lahars consisted of only muddy water, but three carried debris up to 30 cm in diameter in flows several feet wide, moving material at several cubic meters per second (Palmahurco (Juive), Achupashal, and Rea quebradas). During the last week of January, incandescence was noted at the crater on clear nights.

A lahar on 1 February 2015 in the Yuibug sector, reported by an observer in Bilbao, briefly closed the Penipe-Baños road. Clearer weather at the summit in early February revealed weak gas emissions rising to 500 m above the summit crater. IG reported a gradual increase in seismicity beginning on 16 February 2015. They noted an increase in the number of long-period (LP) earthquakes associated with fluid movement near the summit. They also recorded constant inflation since the beginning of January, with an increase in the rate of inflation of the N flank during February. A small explosion was reported on 18 February, but no other surface changes were observed. The Washington VAAC issued a report of a small burst of possible ash and gas seen by the volcano observatory (OVT) mid-day on 24 February at 5.2 km altitude drifting slowly W.

Observatorio del Volcan Tungurahua (OVT) personnel noted steam and gas emissions during 3-5 March 2015 rising 200-500 m above the crater, but no ash was reported. Rainfall led to a lahar on 23 March that carried 30-cm-diameter blocks down the Quebrada de Juive. Seismic activity fluctuated throughout March. After several months of inflation, a sudden change to deflational deformation began on 26 March, as recorded at the RETU station near the summit crater.

Activity during April-June 2015. Moderate amplitude tremors began during the early morning of 6 April 2015; nearby residents reported noises from the volcano starting around 0730 local time, and minor ashfall was reported in Chacauco, Manzano, and Punzupal Alto. Residents of Palitahua reported a gray ash plume drifting W up to 2 km above the crater (figure 81). The seismic events recorded during the following days were all located at depths of 1-6 km, directly under the crater. Ashfall was reported from 6 to 9 April SW and W of the volcano, primarily in the Choglontus sector. On 8 April, ashfall was reported in Manzano, Choglontus, Bilbao, Chacauco, Pillate, and Quero, with accumulation rates of 135-200 grams per square meter per day (g/m2/day). Ashfall increased in Choglontus, reaching 1000 g/m2 during 8 and 9 April. Inflation was again observed at the RETU station beginning on 5 April.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. Ash-bearing emissions from Tungurahua drift NW on 6 April 2015. Photo by J. Garcia, courtesy of OVT/IG-EPN (Informe No. 789, Síntesis Semanal del Estado del Volcán Tungurahua, del 31 de marzo al 07 de abril del 2015).

The webcam revealed continuous emissions of ash beginning on 6 April 2015. A plume was reported at 6.1 km altitude moving W until the following day. On 8 April OVT reported dense ash emissions to 5.9 km altitude, drifting NW. Weather clouds prevented observation in satellite imagery during these days. Local aircraft indicated ash present at 6.7 km altitude on 9 April in spite of extensive weather clouds. A swarm of "drumbeat" LP earthquakes on 10-11 April was followed by moderate ash emissions on 12 April. On 11 April, IG reported an ash cloud moving W and NW from the summit at 5.5 km altitude. An emission on 14 April with moderate amounts of ash rose 500 m above the summit and drifted WSW (figure 82).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. An ash emission rises to 500 m above the summit at Tungurahua on 14 April 2015, and drifts WSW. Photo by B. Bernard, Courtesy of OVT/IG-EPN (Informe No. 791, Síntesis Semanal del Estado del Volcán Tungurahua, del 13 al 21 de abril del 2015).

An explosion on 15 April generated an ash plume that reached 3 km above the summit crater (figure 83). Later in the day ash emissions rose to 2 km above the crater and drifted W. The Washington VAAC reported a continuous ash plume visible in satellite imagery on 15 April moving W from the summit at 6.1 km altitude (1 km above the summit). Although the plume appeared to be almost 100 km long, ashfall reports were limited to areas within 15 km of the summit. Collected ash was mainly composed of dense lithic fragments, euhedral crystals, and oxidized particles, and was not considered juvenile material (from fresh magma). Additional ashfall was reported up through 17 April in Palictahua, El Guanto, El Mirador, El Santuario, Mapayacu, Puela, Chontapamba, and Sabañag.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. An ash plume from an explosion at Tungurahua rises 2 km above the summit crater on 15 April 2015. Photo by B. Bernard, Courtesy of OVT/IG-EPN (Informe No. 791, Síntesis Semanal del Estado del Volcán Tungurahua, del 13 al 21 de abril del 2015).

Ash emissions continued at a lower level of frequency and energy after 17 April 2015 (figure 84), and seismic activity notably decreased. There were minor emissions coincident with seismic tremors that produced gray to black fine-grained ashfall mainly to the W of the volcano in Bilbao and Chontapamba through 27 April. Deformation changed from inflation to deflation beginning on 21 April, but after five days, switched back to inflation on 26 April. Plumes with moderate ash content were observed rising to 1 or 2 km above the summit on clear days. An emission on 28 April contained modest amounts of ash and drifted NW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. A double column of steam and red-brown ash rises 500 m above the crater at Tungurahua and drifts W on 17 April 2015. Photo by B. Bernard, Courtesy of OVT/IG-EPN (Informe No. 791, Síntesis Semanal del Estado del Volcán Tungurahua, del 13 al 21 de abril del 2015).

Intense rains occurred on 25 and 26 April 2015 that were large enough to generate significant lahars. On 25 April, lahars were reported in the Chontapamba and Romero ravines moving blocks up to 1 m in diameter. Muddy water was observed in the Achupashal ravine. On 26 April, lahars were reported in the Juive, Mapayacu, Romero, and Chontapamba drainages. Lahars caused a high-frequency seismic signal from the Pondoa ravine during the late morning. The flow rates doubled in Vazcún and Puela ravines, which filled with muddy water. A large lahar was also reported in the Quebrada del Pingullo, and debris was reported in the Clementina, Juive Chico, and La Pampa creeks (figure 85).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Mud and debris filled La Pampa quebrada (ravine) at Tungurahua after heavy rains on 26 April 2015. Photo by S. Aguaiza, courtesy of OVT/IG-EPN (Informe No. 792, Síntesis Semanal del Estado del Volcán Tungurahua, del 21 al 28 de abril del 2015).

During the first week of May 2015, constant steam emissions rose 1 km above the summit crater. The vapor was characterized by very low amounts of ash. On 4 May, ashfall was reported in the Bilbao sector, but not corroborated from other areas. Steam with low to moderate ash content continued through 12 May, with plumes rising 1 km above the summit, mostly drifting W and SW. As a result, ash falls were reported in Manzano, Choglontús, Yuibug and Bilbao. On 10 and 11 May, intense and prolonged rains led to significant lahars in Q. Romero, Ingapirca, Chontapamba, Achupashal, and Ulba, and smaller lahars in several other ravines. Small mudflows and lahars also occurred in the ravines on the W flank on 12, 14, and 15 May. Cloudy weather mostly prevented views of the summit, but continuous steam emissions were observed when it cleared. Fine-grained gray ashfall was reported in Choglontus on 15 and 20 May.

Minor emissions of steam with no ash to 500 m above the crater, drifting mostly W, persisted throughout June. Intermittent rains resulted in minor lahars and mudflows that caused little damage. Lahars descended ravines on the W flank on 16 and 17 June. The summit was cloudy and rainy for much of the month, and seismic activity remained low.

Geologic Background. Tungurahua, a steep-sided andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano that towers more than 3 km above its northern base, is one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes. Three major edifices have been sequentially constructed since the mid-Pleistocene over a basement of metamorphic rocks. Tungurahua II was built within the past 14,000 years following the collapse of the initial edifice. Tungurahua II itself collapsed about 3000 years ago and produced a large debris-avalanche deposit and a horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the west, inside which the modern glacier-capped stratovolcano (Tungurahua III) was constructed. Historical eruptions have all originated from the summit crater, accompanied by strong explosions and sometimes by pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached populated areas at the volcano's base. Prior to a long-term eruption beginning in 1999 that caused the temporary evacuation of the city of Baños at the foot of the volcano, the last major eruption had occurred from 1916 to 1918, although minor activity continued until 1925.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico (IG), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html).

Atmospheric Effects

The enormous aerosol cloud from the March-April 1982 eruption of Mexico's El Chichón persisted for years in the stratosphere, and led to the Atmospheric Effects section becoming a regular feature of the Bulletin. Descriptions of the initial dispersal of major eruption clouds remain with the individual eruption reports, but observations of long-term stratospheric aerosol loading will be found in this section.

Atmospheric Effects (1980-1989)  Atmospheric Effects (1995-2001)

Special Announcements

Special announcements of various kinds and obituaries.

Special Announcements  Obituaries

Misc Reports

Reports are sometimes published that are not related to a Holocene volcano. These might include observations of a Pleistocene volcano, earthquake swarms, or floating pumice. Reports are also sometimes published in which the source of the activity is unknown or the report is determined to be false. All of these types of additional reports are listed below by subject.

Additional Reports  False Reports